NOW THAT former President JG Zuma is no longer in power, what’s next and is there a possibility of another faction?
These are some of the pertinent questions members of the ruling party, the country and international investors will be probing and watching with an eye of a needle, following Zuma’s sombre address to the nation last night as he announced his resignation from the highest post on the land.
Yes, it was an emotional yet eloquent address former President had made since his installment as head of the State.
Immediately, after his address ANC’s deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte assured a small amount of reporters at Luthuli House, that they will inform Zuma on what exactly he did wrong, following Zuma’s question: what wrong did I commit?
Duarte said the media were “not known for being sensitive” and for caring about people and their families‚ which was one of the reasons the information was not made public.
“It would be wrong to do so‚ it would be adventurous to do so … I don’t think we want to do that‚” she said. “Yes‚ we will sit down with him first and discuss what we believe might be the issues‚ before we venture into a slaughterhouse of opinion‚ yet again‚ by yourselves [the media] and the opposition.”
But the first point of reference would be to consult with 54 regions – a move that is on going- to inform them on the decision the NEC took to recall Zuma.
“President Zuma remains a disciplined member of the ANC‚” said Duarte. “In giving effect to the decision of the ANC NEC to recall him‚ President Zuma has reaffirmed his commitment to the principles‚ practices and character of the movement to which he has dedicated his life.
“Having taken the difficult decision to recall Comrade Jacob Zuma‚ the ANC nonetheless wants to salute the outstanding contribution he has made and express its profound gratitude to him for the role he has played in the ANC spanning over 60 years of loyal service.”
She admitted that Zuma’s rise through the party ranks – ultimately becoming the country’s first citizen – had not been incident-free‚ but said Zuma’s contributions could not be overlooked.
“While we acknowledge errors and mistakes that were committed‚ President Zuma leaves a legacy of delivery in many critical areas – among them being the conceptualisation and delivery of the National Development Plan‚ a long-term plan towards our common prosperity and a first in our country. President Zuma’s passion for rural development saw his administration establish a dedicated ministry on rural development to further advance the ANC’s programme of land and agrarian reform‚” she said.
On a lighter note though, Zuma will be missed mostly for his humour, famous giggles and of course, taking jabs at opposition parties.
Asked on the surprise absence of secretary general Dr Ace Magashule, Duarte said he was busy ‘cleaning out his office as Premier of Free State, since he has until end of March’ to do so, and has nothing to do with any investigation.
Parliament is expected to elect a new President (Ramaphosa obviously) by Friday or at an earlier time if Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng is available.
According to Moloto Mothapo, spokesperson for Government and ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu, the much vaunted SONA will be addressed on Friday by President Cyril Ramaphosa and Budget Speech will be tabled next week, respectively by current minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba.
As a result of Zuma’s resignation some believe the cabinet could be reshuffled but knowing the thinking of Ramaphosa, he would not tamper with it for stability purposes.
For Zuma, who addressed the nation for the very last time- it’s either face the dock on 783 charges to be reinstated or will be instrumental behind the scenes within the organization he joined at a very young age.
Opposition parties –including alliance partner Cosatu and the public welcomed his resignation.
Meanwhile, the motion of no confidence in Zuma by both the ANC and the opposition parties falls away, that was to be tabled today in Parliament.
On a sour note, we send our heartfelt condolences to the family and members of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who passed away on Wednesday in Johannesburg, due to colon cancer.