The decision-making body of the ANC responsible for keeping the President accountable – aka the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) – says Jacob Zuma has until the end of today, Tuesday (13 February), to hand in his resignation as President.
Ace Magashule, ANC Secretary General, made the announcement that after more than 12 hours of deliberation, the NEC is recalling Zuma should he fail to remove himself from the Presidency.
Zuma previously refused to sign the resignation in a meeting with Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday, and now faces two options: either he resigns voluntarily, or is recalled through a motion of no confidence.
‘What’s been dubbed as #Zexit has the country divided as we wait with bated breath for it to go down in Parliament, should Zuma keep up the fight’
The EFF have already submitted a motion against Zuma for 22 February. Members of Parliament are now urging for the motion to be brought forward by a week.
There is no specific time for Zuma to respond by, some say by the ‘end of day’, some sources say Wednesday – but we can expect something to happen soon.
The reactions from Twitter range from plain hilarious…
— OUTA (@OUTASA) February 13, 2018
…To seriously concerned
SA is, in all intense and purposes, leaderless. The old is dying, the new is struggling to be born. Nobody's telling. The country's in the dark. Rumours are having a field day #ZumaRecall
— Barney Mthombothi (@mthombothi) February 13, 2018
Cyril was lying to us. First he said meetings, pressers and events were going to start on time, now presser is postponed to 14:00. Then he said #ZumaRecall will be finilized by monday, here we are still waiting, on a tuesday. #ZumaExit #NECMeeting pic.twitter.com/dOugJqmGEM
— UnLucky Montana (@CeoLuckyMontana) February 13, 2018
Here are the facts you need to know:
What exactly does ‘recalled’ mean in this situation?
— Paulinah (@Nkele_Ma) February 13, 2018
As a democracy, the elected members of the NEC have the power to remove even the President. It’s an ultimatum the President is not forced to comply with.
According to IOL, the NEC has decided:
1. To recall Zuma in accordance with Rule 220.127.116.11 of the ANC Constitution, which accords the NEC the authority to ‘recall any public representative’.
2. There should be continuing interaction between the officials of the ANC and the president.
The NEC decided to recall its deployee, Comrade Jacob Zuma, in accordance to Rule 18.104.22.168 of the ANC Constitution, which accords the NEC the authority to recall any public representative – Magashule #ZumaRecall
— CNBC Africa (@cnbcafrica) February 13, 2018
That’s where the motion of no confidence comes in
To be recalled means that the National Assembly can adopt a motion of no confidence, i.e. they’ve lost faith in the President to govern, and the President is then forcibly removed from the Cabinet.
This is the political version of ‘push comes to shove’ and a last resort should Zuma fail to hand in his resignation. According to leader of the Democratic Alliance Mmusi Maimane, this motion can only proceed if a majority adopts it – that is, a majority from Parliament (not just the NEC):
This #ZumaRecall is an internal ANC resolution, nothing more.
Has no effect on Zuma’s status as President.
Unless Zuma tenders his resignation, this recall is not worth the paper it is printed on.
Only parliament can remove Zuma through a MoNC.
— Mmusi Maimane (@MmusiMaimane) February 13, 2018
Who will replace Zuma before the 2019 elections?
Should Zuma be removed, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will assume Zuma’s position. This would happen after taking the oath in office to serve us, the people of SA, as the new President.
The chief justice will set a date within 30 days, the National Assembly then elects a new president from its members.
How does this affect you?
As to what Zuma will do, you can found out when he eventually publicly addresses the letter for his resignation.
An entirely new Cabinet in Parliament will have to be formed, along with the swearing in of a new President.
While we wait, it’s likely the uncertainty will impact things like the economy – the Rand may increase or decrease in value, depending on the outcome.
The State of Nation Address has already been postponed and this will cause further delay if #Zexit turns ugly. SONA is crucial for informing us on the key issues affecting our country and the kind of impact we can expect, so it’s left the country feeling more than a little bit anxious about our political future. Magashule says that when SONA goes ahead, the address will be made by acting President Ramaphosa.
The Annual Budget speech is another keynote address to the nation, and Parliament has assured the public that the show will go on, on 21 February.
The Cabinet is made up of the President, the Deputy and the Ministers. Remember the reshuffle last year? Yeah, it was intense.
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