ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has poured cold water on expectations that the removal of President Jacob Zuma will take centre stage at today’s special sitting of the party’s national executive committee (NEC).
He also brushed off concerns about the thorny issue of two centres of power, saying the centre was the ANC.
Magashule said until now deliberations on Zuma’s future was not on the agenda, suggesting that it has been put on ice until the next official meeting.
He insisted several times that the only deliberations were on the January 8 statement to be delivered by ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday.
“It’s our celebration of 106 years of the ANC in existence and we are just meeting to say present the January 8 statement so all of us are aware of the statement and we engage and debate, adopt it and move forward. The purpose and the only item on the agenda was in preparing the January statement for this year,” he emphasised.
Magashule however revealed that both Ramaphosa and Zuma were in talks but said this was private between the two.
“They have engaged so their discussion is not our discussion.”
There had been an expectation that Ramaphosa would give a report back about those talks but Magashule dismissed that too.
“The president and the president of the ANC are actually continuously meeting and engaging and I think there was no matter to be discussed,” he said.
Asked about the possibility of the matter around Zuma’s future being raised from the floor by NEC members, Magashule said the opportunity for that had passed and the agenda had been adopted.
The meeting, he said, was close to its conclusion.
“No it did not come out. There was only one item on the agenda where all of us collectively agreed that this is a special NEC and the matter at hand is the January 8 statement”.
The names of NEC members who will make up the national working committee, tasked with implementing NEC decisions, would only be dealt with at the next ordinary sitting.