The African National Congress (ANC) has given President Jacob Zuma until end of today to resign or be voted out by the ANC alongside opposition parties in a motion of no confidence against him at Parliament on Thursday.
Speaking after addressing ANC MPs at their caucus meeting at Parliament, party treasurer-general Paul Mashatile told journalists that South Africans could not be expected to wait any longer for Zuma to resign.
“It is very clear that for us as the leadership of the ANC, We can no longer wait beyond today. We don’t want to keep South Africa waiting. If President Zuma will at some point respond, he will respond but we can’t continue waiting.”
The party’s Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu says that depending on the availability of the Chief Justice, Mogoeng Mogoeng, Cyril Ramaphosa could also be elected as the country’s new president at the same sitting tomorrow.
Section 102 of the Constitution allows for a simple majority – 201 of 400 MPs – to pass a motion of no confidence in the President, in which case he, his deputy, all Cabinet ministers and their deputies must resign. It provides for the Speaker to then act as president for up to 30 days until a new president is elected, but the ANC wants Ramaphosa installed as soon as possible.
Once elected, Ramaphosa will be able to appoint a new Cabinet.
If Zuma resigns before the motion of confidence is passed, then it will fall away and Ramaphosa will become acting president, with all the powers and functions the position holds – including appointing Cabinet ministers.
Mthembu has given the assurance that the Budget will go ahead as planned next Wednesday. The question now is whether Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba will still be the person to deliver it.
Meanwhile, the party has stated that Zuma has not asked for amnesty or for his legal fees to be paid.
#ANCcaucus spells out its preferred timeline:
•Thursday: ANC will amend and support the EFF’s motion of no confidence in Zuma
•Also Thursday: Ramaphosa sworn in as president
•Monday: Sona debate
•Wednesday: Budget speech
— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) February 14, 2018