President Jacob Zuma is willing to step down in order to recover the ANC’s “integrity”, a newspaper on Friday reported senior party sources as saying.
The top ANC members have said that they had been working under cover on a strategy for Zuma to make an exit. Zuma has been in the firing line recently over scandals involving the Guptas, the Constitutional Court’s Nkandla ruling and a high court judgment over his corruption charges.
ANC leaders had told the Sunday Times at the party’s manifesto launch in Port Elizabeth that those behind the plan needed to buy time and only act after the elections.
They said they were giving Zuma a “long rope to hang himself”.
The M&G said that a report will be presented to the ANC’s National Executive Committee two weeks from now with recommendations for Zuma and the party going forward. But an NEC member, speaking to the Friday weekly on condition of anonymity, said they have to work carefully so as not to “destroy the ANC”.
In the weeks after the ConCourt’s Nkandla ruling, many former leading ANC members and struggle stalwarts urged Zuma to step down as president.
Among them are former deputy ANC secretary general Cheryl Carolus, former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils, former justice Zac Yacoob, ex Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, former ANC Youth League member Ronald Lamola, and others who have come together as members of the People’s Consultative Assembly for Democracy.
Former finance minister Trevor Manuel also said he wants Zuma gone.
Many ANC grassroots members have also been vocal about their desire for the president to leave office. Members from several ANC branches in the Free State last month joined a small group of anti-Zuma marchers in Bloemfontein.
“In 2007, when other ANC comrades said Zuma must be the president, my region never supported him, and now we have been proven right,” one marcher and a regional working committee member, Thokozile Mokoenanyana, said