President Jacob Zuma and ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa have had intimate meetings, as speculation over Zuma’s future as head of state remains uncertain. Newly elected ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule confirmed speculation that Ramaphosa was in talks with Zuma.
Magashule said the president and the president of the ANC are "meeting and engaging.”
He was briefing the media on the sidelines of a special national executive committee meeting held on Wednesday, just days before Ramaphosa delivered his first January 8 statement in celebration of the ANC’s 106 years of existence.
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However, Magashule denied that there was any debate around two centres of power, adding that the party had resolved that the ANC was the only centre of power. Sources inside the national executive committee had told News24 that Ramaphosa was scheduled to meet with Zuma during his visit to KwaZulu-Natal on the weekend.
Ramaphosa was said to be negotiating Zuma’s resignation as head of state.
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Ramaphosa was on a charm offensive in the province on Sunday and Monday, meeting with the party’s rival groupings in the province, Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini and paying homage to past ANC presidents from the province.
The visit was seen as an attempt to soothe the wounds of the province’s embattled leadership after none of its candidates made it to the party’s top six.
The sources all agreed that it was now a matter of when, and not if, Zuma stepped down. But the priority was not “alienating his KwaZulu-Natal support base”.
Some national executive committee members are pushing for the newly elected leadership to recall Zuma and get the party on a “clean slate” ahead of the all-important 2019 national elections.
Zuma, however, has shown no intentions of resigning. – News24