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SA holds its breath as ANC NEC to finalise decision on Zuma's future

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa addressed supporters in Cape Town on Sunday while launching centennial celebrations in honour of the late Nelson Mandela.

FILE: Jacob Zuma during the nominations process at the ANC's national conference on 17 December 2017. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

CAPE TOWN – As the African National Congress (ANC) prepares to hold its urgent special national executive committee (NEC) meeting today, the party’s president Cyril Ramaphosa has promised the gathering will finalise talks around president Jacob Zuma’s future.

Ramaphosa addressed supporters in Cape Town on Sunday while launching centennial celebrations in honour of the late Nelson Mandela.

When the ANC’s national working committee resolved to hold an urgent special NEC meeting last week to recall Zuma, Ramaphosa stepped in and proceeded to hold what he later claimed to have been constructive and fruitful discussions with Zuma.

It was widely believed this meant president Zuma had agreed to resign but six days later there’s been no movement.

Now the ANC’s highest decision making body will give the meeting another go this afternoon and is likely to take a decision Ramaphosa delayed last week, if Zuma doesn’t resign before then.

“Because our people want this matter to be finalised.”

Ramaphosa has been at pains to assure South Africans that he’s putting their interest first in his delicate discussions with Zuma.

At the same time, amid reports that Zuma made conditions to Ramaphosa for his removal, the ANC president has promised that the talks have been handled in a careful manner and that interest of South Africans were put first.

“Comrades, the successful resolution of this matter has great significant consequences for the country and for the African National Congress.

“It is, therefore, important that we should manage these discussions that are currently underway with care and purpose, ensuring that we put the interests of South Africa first.”

Political analysts, though, believe that negotiations between Ramaphosa and President Zuma did not bear good results, prompting the NEC to make a final decision.

Political analyst Ralph Mathekga: “Possibly the NEC will have to start afresh. Either there’s deadlock or if there’s an agreement, it’s been kept secret and the NEC is going to confirm that.”

Economist Frank Blackmore says that the delay in removing Zuma and the lack of information from the ANC on this process may negatively affect the rand.

“At that point, whether he will stay on until the end of his term then one will see a depreciation for sure and if he does step down, there will an appreciation of the rand and then the severity of that will depend on what sort of deal was made.”

Today will also see protests at the Union Buildings calling for President Zuma’s immediate removal.

A group calling itself concerned ANC and SACP members are expected to march to the seat of government but the Gauteng ANC and SACP have distanced themselves from the so-called national shutdown.

The Tshwane Metro Police Department also says it hasn’t granted permission for any march in the capital today.

“They are expected to arrive at the Union Buildings around 12 midday. The indication is that they will be there until 4 in the afternoon.”

WATCH: ANC NEC to finalise Zuma transition matter on Monday

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