The ANC, the party of the late Nelson Mandela, is facing mounting pressure from within its own ranks as well as from opposition parties and civil society at large to decide Zuma’s fate after more than a week of negotiations.
Zuma was replaced as the party’s leader by his deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, but he is refusing to step down. That leaves his party with only two options. Either the party's National Executive Committee decides to recall him or the nation's parliament casts a vote of no confidence, an action already scheduled for Feb. 22.
Hopes for a speedy resolution of the matter faded last week after Ramaphosa and Zuma held private discussions that have so far failed to bring an end to the stalemate. In the meantime, the opening of parliament and the State of the Nation address have been postponed indefinitely to give the ANC more time to deal with Zuma.
The #ANCNEC will be meeting to discuss and finalize this matter. We know you want this matter to be finalised. We know you want closure on this matter. We must keep our eyes on what is in the interests of all our people— Cyril Ramaphosa (@CyrilRamaphosa) February 11, 2018
Today’s debate by the party's executive committee is expected to be long and drawn out as several of its members, who are government cabinet ministers, still support Zuma. The president has already survived two other attempts by the executive committee to force him to step down.
It’s unclear when an announcement on Zuma’s future is expected but Ramaphosa indicated yesterday that he knows people are anxious for the issue to be laid to rest.