African National Congress (ANC) President Cyril Ramaphosa and President Jacob Zuma are reportedly in the final stages of of their negotiations around Zuma’s exit plan.
It’s understood that Ramaphosa and Zuma are set to meet on Saturday to iron out the details of the plan.
According to reports, discussions are being had around Zuma’s current and future legal fees as well as the security of his family once he steps down.
A special meeting of the top six is also scheduled for this weekend at some point, in a clear sign that Zuma is expected to step down in the next few days.
What happens if Zuma does step down?
Cyril Ramaphosa will immediately be put in the drivers seat. Once sworn in as acting president, Ramaphosa would have all the powers and functions that come with the job.
However, National Assembly would then have 30 days to elect a permanent president from date of Zuma’s resignation.
Director of the Centre for Constitutional Rights Phephelaphi Dube told EWN that this will not impact Ramaphosa.
“But he can only hold that position for a period of 30 days and within that Parliament has to reconvene and they have to elect a new president.”
Dube says if Ramaphosa’s elected, this won’t count as part of the two-term limit set by the Constitution for the country’s presidents.
“That in terms of the Constitution isn’t regarded as a new term so it leaves this individual free to contest the next two general elections if the National Assembly so desires.”
What would happen if Zuma were to be removed in the form of a motion of no confidence vote?
Should Zuma be removed by a motion of no confidence, not only he but Ramaphosa and the entire Cabinet must step down. It is the Speaker who then acts as caretaker president but the same 30-day rule applies to appointing a permanent one.