Last June ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe foretold of what is currently happening to South Africa’s national party after they voted to remove President Jacob Zuma as ANC’s leader last week.
Mantashe, addressing foreign journalists mid this year said it would be easier to remove President Zuma from power after he is replaced as ANC president.
He observed that in 2008 it was easier to remove the former president Thabo Mbeki from power because he was no longer the president of the party at the time. The Business Day reported adding that sources opposed to Zuma would call for his removal as South Africa’s president.
"That is a very important milestone, because beyond that point many things are possible. What I am saying is that his term ends in 2019, but beyond December the conversation becomes less complex," Mantashe reportedly said.
Now, news suggests that ANC leaders are in secret talks to negotiate early exit for president Zuma, as soon as January which is just six days away. ANC voted the country’s vice president as the new party leader barely a week ago.
According to the Sunday Times the talks are being driven by close allies of the president- and not distant foes- in a bid to negotiate a way for Zuma to leave the office without him being embarrassed.
Mr. Zuma’s reign has been marred by corruption scandals. South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal ruled August that Zuma must face charges of corruption, fraud, racketeering and money laundering. It is allowed prosecutors to bring back 783 counts of corruption relating to a 1999 arms deal.
President Jacob Zuma, former ANC leader
Image: SIPHIWE SIBEKO / REUTERS