President Zuma recalled by ruling party

Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) – It appears that President Jacob Zuma’s chaotic term in office is coming to an end after the National Executive Committee of the ruling African National Congress resolved to recall him in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

This followed marathon 13-hour talks in Pretoria after a defiant Zuma had earlier refused to step down.

There are unconfirmed reports that party leader Cyril Ramaphosa and Secretary-General Ace Magashule were instructed to drive to Zuma's official residence in Pretoria late on Monday night to give him an ultimatum to resign or face a recall. During the brief meeting, Zuma refused to comply, insisting that his demands that he stays on at the Union Buildings for another three months be honoured.

The ANC has invoked a clause in its constitution that gives it the powers to recall a public representative.

Ironically, his predecessor, Thabo Mbeki, found himself in exactly the same position when he was recalled as President of the country by his own party in 2008. That enabled Zuma to sweep into power despite facing a string of graft charges.

The ANC said it would write to Zuma on Tuesday morning informing him of its decision and a press conference will be held at its Johannesburg headquarters on Tuesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has given Parliament until noon on Tuesday to call for a motion of no confidence in Zuma, currently scheduled for 22 February, to be heard this week.

EFF leader Julius Malema said his party does not want two elite factions from the ANC to nominate a replacement president. “Only the masses must decide. To think when Zuma leaves our problems will disappear, that is being disingenuous,” he said.

Zuma has faced significant legal challenges before and during his presidency. He was charged with rape in 2005, but was acquitted.

He has fought a long legal battle over allegations of racketeering and corruption, resulting from his financial advisor Schabir Shaik's conviction for corruption and fraud.

In 2009, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) dropped the charges against Zuma, citing political interference. However, the decision was successfully challenged by opposition parties, and the charges are now before the NPA for reconsideration.
-0- PANA CU/MA 13Feb2018

13 february 2018 07:38:57

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