By Najma Bibi Noor Mahomed
South Africans awoke to an alternate reality on Thursday – the absence of Jacob Zuma as the country’s President. Last night, Zuma held a press conference which ended with him tendering his immediate resignation as the President of South Africa.
In his exit speech Zuma thanked the citizens of South Africa, opposition parties, government organisations and the international community.
“I’ve served the people of SA to the best of my ability. However, I must accept that if my party wish I must be removed from office they must exercise that right as per the constitution. No Life should be lost in my name and the ANC should not be divided in my name. I resign with immediate effect!” were the last words of very emotional Zuma.
During the build up to ANC NEC, recalling Zuma was met with enormous challenges, drawing out the resignation of his nine year reign. Ethicore political consulting’s Abdul Waheed Patel told VOC Breakfast Beat this morning that Zuma is known to be unpredictable.
“There were also many things that he said that was consistent with what said in the SABC interview earlier in the day. There were two things to note that were two primary considerations for him. On one hand, his duty as state president to uphold the constitution and on the other hand understanding that he is still a deployee of his party and with that comes taking into account the interest of his party,” Patel explained.
Take a listen to the full audio here.
Zuma’s resignation means that Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to be voted in as acting President. Parliament is expected to vote for a new leader today. ASRI’s Muhammad Cajee explains the list of events that have we can see unfolding in the coming days.
“We are told that the Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng is available to swear in the acting president Cyril Ramaphosa. We know the State of the Nation Address was scheduled for tomorrow night and that programming will likely take place. Next Monday we know will be the SONA debate which is a debate around the speech and then we have the budget speech.”
Following the announcement by the ANC NEC to recall Zuma, he spoke with the SABC yesterday questioning why is he being pushed out now. Cajee believes Zuma knows that the ANC would not openly confront the allegations of corruption and state capture against him, as it would be an acknowledgement of guilt on behalf.
“I think he knows the reasons why he is being recalled. But he wants the ANC to articulate that so to have them come out and claim their failures. We have to remember that the ANC is exactly the party that supported him from 2009 tooth and nail through all of the scandals. So now after nine years it is completely understandable that he questions that after all this time of supporting why there is a rush to oust him. In general though we all know what he has done wrong and the rush is due the upcoming election there’s further damage that can be done to both the new presidents reputation, party reputation as well as to the intuitions within government,” Kajee outlined.
Take a listen to the full interview here.