South Africa business confidence rises to highest since Nene fired

Pauline Gross
February 8, 2018

Nothing to see or hear here - this was the general vibe around Parliament and Tuynhuys on Wednesday as the country held its collective breath waiting for news on President Jacob Zuma's future.

African National Congress (ANC) leader Cyril Ramaphosa said on Wednesday he is holding direct talks with Jacob Zuma over a transition of power, in the strongest indication to date the South African president will step down after years of scandal.

This is also why the NEC meeting, due on Wednesday, was postponed until next weekend, and Ramaphosa promised that he and Zuma would report back to the ANC and the country "in the coming days".

Ramaphosa said despite this, the work of government and parliament is continuing.

An ANC Youth League leader close to Zuma told Sowetan: "We were only told that the [NEC] meeting has been cancelled". With the ANC NEC meeting now only scheduled for the 17th, will the people of South African have to wait for an entire week to get presidential closure?

"President Zuma basically said to us: 'I'm not going anywhere, I'm not convinced by you guys so I'm not going to resign".

Ramaphosa said their discussions were constructive and laid the basis for a speedy resolution to the leadership question in South Africa.

They were trying to reach an amicable solution to avoid Zuma from being fired by the party's national executive committee (NEC) or removed through an ANC initiated motion of no confidence in parliament.

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Ramaphosa said the current process ensured "the greatest opportunity to conclude this matter without discord or division".

Some party hacks said that on the side of these Cabinet committee meetings talks between Zuma and Ramaphosa continued, with possible names being mentioned for the next cabinet.

The delay increased speculation that a deal for Zuma to resign had been ironed out. Times Live, an online news service, quoted sources as saying Zuma would resign as soon as a list of preconditions had been finalized.

The ANC was the main anti-apartheid movement for decades and has led South Africa since the end of white minority rule in 1994, but its moral stature has diminished because of Zuma and wider problems of corruption and mismanagement.

"I was there. I left the two presidents to engage and I joined the meeting towards the end", he said.

The former union leader has said he does not want to humiliate Zuma, but has been lobbying behind the scenes for him to step down early.

He added that Zuma's removal was crucial as it meant that the ANC top six would not have to first consider what Zuma thought of issues before they took decision about the running of the country.

Other reports by GizPress

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