Pressure continues to mount on the beleaguered South African president Jacob Zuma to step down as the president of the country. In December last year, he was replaced by Cyril Ramaphosa as the party president of the African National Congress. This alone has made calls for his resignation as state president grow louder and more vociferous.
Interesting to note is that it is the ANC pushing for his imminent resignation. Leaders of the ANC party are expected to meet and decide the fate of Jacob Zuma. The BBC reported that the National Executive Committee (NEC) is likely to ask him to step down. It has not been rosy for Jacob Zuma, with many expecting Cyril Ramaphosa to deliver the State of the Nation address – implying that they want Mr. Zuma to step down.
On Sunday, while addressing a crowd which had gathered to mark 100 years since the birth of the country's first black president, Nelson Mandela, Cyril Ramaphosa acknowledged that the uncertainty hovering over Jacob Zuma’s stay in power was causing “disunity and discord”. Zuma has had to fight off corruption and rape charges for the better part of his political life.
Ramaphosa told the crowd that "our people want this matter to be finalised" and that the African National Congress (ANC) would comply. He acknowledged the ANC was suffering "a period of difficulty, disunity and discord", and said he wanted to replace it with "a new beginning". Last week, Jacob Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa met to discuss the issues surrounding “transition”.
While he has Jacob Zuma has never been found guilty of any of the numerous accusations of corruption charged against him, he has had to go through the processes of impeachment more than once – and has survived all of them. His links to the India-born Gupta family, with many believing that the Gupta family influences the government’s decisions, have been denied both by him and the family.
Zuma always has a way of survival. It may not be surprising that he may actually finish off the remainder of his term in 2019. When many write him off, that is when he emerges stronger. This time around things may change, but nothing is ever guaranteed in politics.