ANC NEC to resume amid calls to have Zuma removed
Some ANC members have been protesting outside the venue where the meeting is held, calling for Zuma's removal.
JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting is expected to resume this morning, on the backdrop of a protest by some members of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) vowing to stand up against President Jacob Zuma, if he is not removed from his position this weekend.
They say last week's revelation of the Gupta families involvement in cabinet appointments is the final straw and believe this is the final opportunity for the NEC to act.
However, the Young Communist League (YCL) has criticised the Youth League, saying they have jumped to the defense of the controversial family, instead of calling for an investigation into their alleged involvement on government.
While Zuma still appears to have the upper hand in the ANC's NEC, there will be some members who feel the party has to be seen to act against the Guptas and the entire phenomenon of corporate capture, if it's to legitimacy among voters.
Local government elections are just around the corner and if the party is seen to go soft on Zuma and the Guptas and thus claims of corruption in general, it could find several large metros are in danger.
But the real political test could be one of bravery, who is going to go up against the person who has dominated our politics for the last decade, putting their own political career at risk.
Meanwhile, the economy and local government elections are set to take center stage as the NEC meets for a third day behind closed doors.
YCL has condemned its ally the ANCYL after it called for Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas to be recalled.
The young communist league said instead of defending the Gupta family, the ANCYL should join its campaign for an investigation into their alleged influence on government.
Protesters outside the NEC meeting say President Zuma is costing the ANC votes. The protest was organised by former ANCYL deputy president Ronald Lamola.
In a statement, the YCL said its ally should not become a Gupta front and should instead question their alleged influence.
Meanwhile, ANCYL Limpopo member MJ Wa Azania, said he's protesting outside the ANC NEC meeting because he thinks it's time for the president to step down.
"Go and mobilise for the ANC but it's difficult in this kind of situation where you find that there is one person who is costing the organisation votes and support from the ground."
The Guptas have denied all of the claims against them and have challenged those making them to provide evidence.
As a general rule ANC NEC meetings are scheduled for two days over a weekend, with an official press conference being held on the Monday.
But this time it appears an announcement about what may be decided could be made tonight.
However, the longer the meeting goes on, the more likely it is that some issues are contested and members are engaged in difficult debates.
One of the major issues could be who will actually put their hands up and criticise president Zuma, knowing that many other people will then criticise them.
But some may feel they need to act to save the party's image.
ANCYL PROTESTERS WARN OF ZUMA REBELLION
Protesters have warned that society will stand up against Zuma if he is not removed from his position this weekend.
Lamola said the meeting represents a pivotal moment in the ruling party's history.
"I think there will be mass action because people all over the country are tired and they can't take it anymore. We still have an opportunity as the ANC to resolve this thing and we can resolve it through this meeting and that is why we came here."
LISTEN: Dr Somadoda Fikeni on the ANC NEC meeting.
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