Veteran journalist with knowledge of the inner workings of the ruling party, Eric Naki, writes for The Citizen that ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa scored a significant victory at the weekend when even President Jacob Zuma’s allies sided with him to oust the president. They also slammed to have agreed that the culprits behind South Africa’s state capture crisis will be dealt with.
In terms of the reported ANC national executive committee’s (NEC) decision, Zuma has to go before the state of the nation address (Sona) on February 8 and visible action must be taken against corruption. Naki writes that the NEC top six has to deliver the bad news to the president, who has to step down of his own accord, or be pushed out.
This of course lets no doubt anymore that the fate of the country’s faltering president is all but sealed. The NEC, as the party’s highest decision-making body in between conferences, was supposed to pronounce publicly about Zuma’s fate, but respected Ramaphosa’s undertaking that the recall should not embarrass or humiliate the president.
An ANC source told The Citizen newspaper that the NEC agreed that Zuma must go as soon as possible. That he must go is a given and that he must go sooner is also a given. “It makes no sense for Zuma to deliver the state of the nation address and then go. He has to go now before the Sona,” the source said. With Zuma supporters slowly moving to his side, Ramaphosa scored a victory which was even more significant than the one at the national conference, where he was elected as ANC president.
Now at the helm of the ruling party as a centre of power, he is able to issue instructions from Luthuli House on what the Zuma government should and should not do.
Ramaphosa stamped his authority when he told the ANC lekgotla on Friday that all government deployees must account to the ANC as a strategic centre of power.
Ramaphosa demonstrated to all that he is now the boss and he has begun to crack the whip. He made it clear on Friday that he wanted action against corruption before he went to World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, to meet investors.
Meanwhile the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) has also moved to seize assets belonging to the Gupta-linked Trillian Capital and international consultancy firm McKinsey & Company to recover R1.6 billion allegedly attained through state capture at power utility Eskom.
During the weekend The Sunday Times reported that the AFU negotiated with Dubai authorities to act to ensure the repatriation of Gupta assets from Dubai should that become necessary.