South Africa’s ruling party has decided to replace Jacob Zuma as president but hasn’t set a deadline for him to step down, African National Congress Secretary-General Ace Magashule said.
The ANC’s National Executive Committee decided to “recall” Zuma, 75, during a 13-hour meeting that ended early Tuesday. While Zuma had agreed to resign, he wanted to remain in office for up to six months, Magashule told reporters Tuesday in Johannesburg. The committee’s decision to replace him marked the failure of efforts to convince Zuma to agree to an amicable transfer of power from his scandal-ridden administration to one headed by party leader Cyril Ramaphosa.
Jacob ZumaPhotographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg
“While appreciating president Zuma’s proposal, the NEC noted that South Africa is going through a period of uncertainty and anxiety as a result of the unresolved matter of transtion,” Magashule said. “The NEC firmly believed this situation required us to act with urgency.”
Unless Zuma decides to resign soon, the ANC may have to order its lawmakers in parliament to approve a motion of no confidence in the president. The political impasse already forced the unprecedented postponement of last week’s scheduled annual state-of-the-nation address and may imperil the presentation of the budget on Feb. 21. Magashule said the party hasn’t proposed a no-confidence motion.