President Jacob Zuma has survived the second attempt by his own party to have him removed as president, insiders report, following a failed debate within the ANC NEC to have him ousted.
The ANC is expected to brief the media on Monday about the outcomes of the meeting, but recalling president Zuma is not going to be among them.
According to insider reports – speaking to EWN, eNCA and News24 – the debate on no confidence in Zuma was tense and heated, and had an uncharacteristically angry Zuma openly threatening his detractors.
The motion was reportedly proposed by Joel Netshitenzhe and supported by some MPs and former ministers. The debate is said to have drawn over 70 speakers to discuss the issue, and three sources in the NEC told Eyewitness News that out of the 72 NEC members, 18 supported the motion while 54 were against.
In his closing address, sources said that Zuma was seething, and told his detractors to stop criticizing him publicly, and threatened them to “continue attacking me in the media and you will see”.
He was quoted saying that the only reason he has been quiet, publicly, is because he cares about the ANC’s image.
Zuma’s supporters in the ANC dismissed all the points raised by his detractors. The loss of support for the ANC in the elections was not Zuma’s fault, as the party had taken collective responsibility, and the Gupta scandal with the emails and everything were fake news propaganda, they said.
Aside from Parliament, the ANC NEC is the only other body that has the power to remove a sitting president.
According to analysts, this outcome to the debate is conclusive proof that Zuma controls the ANC, and commands enough power to do as he pleases – as no scandal exists that could topple him.
The numbers also validate analysis done by economists and researchers into the power divide within the party, where they have pinned Zuma’s support base at between 60% to 80% within the NEC.
Research analyst at Nomura, Peter Attard Montalto, has held that the market, as well as commentators at large, have been far too optimistic about the prospect of an early Zuma recall, saying that the president has mastered the structures of the ANC.
The analyst predicts that, with his power as it is, Zuma will have an easy route to having his desired outcome to the ANC elective conference in December 2017 (with Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma emerging as the next president) after which he will step down in 2018.