World ANC Is Said to Agree on Zuma Exit as South African President

11:21  20 january  2018
11:21  20 january  2018 Source:   Bloomberg

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Jacob Zuma , South Africa 's president , looks on at the 54th national conference of the African National Congress party ( ANC ) in 8, two of the officials said . The ANC leadership wants Zuma out as president before the start of campaigning for next year’s general elections, they said .

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Jacob Zuma, South Africa's president, looks on at the 54th national conference of the African National Congress party (ANC) in Johannesburg, South Africa.: South African Parliament to Review Rules Concerning Impeachment © Bloomberg/Bloomberg South African Parliament to Review Rules Concerning Impeachment

(Bloomberg) -- The leadership of South Africa’s ruling party decided that President Jacob Zuma must leave office but didn’t set a time-frame for his exit, according to six senior party officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The newly elected top six leaders of the party will manage the transition that will concentrate power in the hands of his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, who won control of the African National Congress a month ago, according to the officials, who are members of the ANC’s National Executive Committee, which took the decision at a meeting near Pretoria, the capital, late Friday night.

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Zuma, whose scandal-ridden administration has dampened investor confidence in the South African economy and voter support for the ANC, could be removed in the next two weeks, enabling Ramaphosa to deliver the annual state-of the-nation address on Feb. 8, two of the officials said. The ANC leadership wants Zuma out as president before the start of campaigning for next year’s general elections, they said.

“The NEC agreed that the ANC must act decisively and with determination to rebuild the bond of trust between our people and the movement, restore the dignity of our movement, and reclaim the moral legitimacy of our movement,” the party said in a statement Saturday.

Further Talks

Ramaphosa and other party officials “will continue their engagement with President Jacob Zuma to ensure effective coordination between the ANC and the government,” it said, without confirming Zuma will step down.

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The South African Communist Party, an ally of the ANC , also said it objected to Zuma ’s plan to sack Gordhan. Thabo Mbeki was removed by the ANC as South African president in 2008 after his time as party leader ended at the close of the previous year.

South African and African National Congress President Jacob Zuma sits on stage flanked by Deputy President – Early exit for Zuma ? – Zuma ’s second term leading South Africa concludes in mid-2019. “The fight for South Africa ’s future will be between the ANC and the government.”

ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Zuma’s departure would enable Ramaphosa, 65, to take over as the nation’s president and try to convince voters that he’s committed to meeting his pledges to rebuild the battered economy and clamp down on the graft that’s become synonymous with the Zuma era.

Ramaphosa’s Control

There was further evidence of Ramaphosa cementing control over the ANC at Friday’s meeting, with his allies securing most seats on the party 26-member National Working Committee that oversees its running on a the day-to-day basis.

The NEC also decided to suspend the ANC’s provincial executive committees in the KwaZulu-Natal and Free State provinces, which were closely aligned to Zuma and were declared by the courts to have not been properly elected. Interim structures will run the party there until a new vote can be held.

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ANC Negotiating Zuma Exit Behind Closed Doors — Report. President of South Africa Jacob Zuma gestures to his supporters at the 54th National Conference of the ruling African National Congress ( ANC ) at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa December 16, 2017.

The deputy president of the African National Congress ( ANC ), Kgalema Motlanthe, was elected President of South Africa in the National Assembly JZ sets conditions if he's to go. The president 's supporters say his closest allies and preferred successor, Nkosazana Dlamini- Zuma , must stay.

Ramaphosa, a lawyer and one of the wealthiest black South Africans, is widely expected to adopt more business-friendly policies and his election as ANC leader helped boost the rand 11 percent last month, the most among the world’s major currencies. He’s leading South Africa’s delegation to the World Economic Forum gathering in Davos next week.

Zuma’s second and final term was due to end around mid-2019. He survived two previous bids to topple him at NEC since November 2016, but the balance of power in the panel shifted after the elective conference in December.

(Updates with Ramaphosa cementing control over the ANC in first paragraph below Ramaphosa’s Control subheadline.)

To contact the reporters on this story: Sam Mkokeli in Johannesburg at mmkokeli@bloomberg.net, Paul Vecchiatto in Cape Town at pvecchiatto@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Karl Maier at kmaier2@bloomberg.net, Mike Cohen, Karl Maier

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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