Johannesburg - ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe is set to brief the media in Johannesburg on Tuesday afternoon on President Jacob Zuma’s precarious position.
The briefing - to be held at the ANC headquarters, Luthuli House - at 2pm follows the dramatic meeting of the party’s national executive committee at the weekend, which ended on Monday, where cabinet ministers turned on Zuma, calling on him to step down.
It has been reported that some cabinet ministers almost came to blows as they debated Zuma’s fate. The meeting - held at the St George’s Hotel in Irene, outside Pretoria - was expected to end on Sunday, but was extended to Monday following a stalemate between anti- and pro-Zuma supporters.
The motion of no confidence against Zuma was allegedly made by Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom on Saturday and was apparently supported by several cabinet ministers including Aaron Motsoaledi, Thulas Nxesi, Naledi Pandor, and Pravin Gordhan, and ANC chief whip in Parliament Jackson Mthembu.
Independent Media understands Hanekom raised the matter during the debate on the State of Capture report by former public protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela. Zuma is implicated in the unlawful issuing of state contracts to his close friends the Guptas.
Zuma has dismissed the report saying it was dealt with in a “funny way with no fairness”, and that it had personally affected him and many others.
When contacted for comment, political analyst Prince Mashele said: “Let’s cut through the clutter. There was an expectation that this NEC would take a decision to fire Zuma. This was the expectation; it was about whether Zuma stays or leave.”
Mashele said the ANC media briefing on Tuesday would, in all likelihood, “announce that Zuma is not leaving, that’s the core of it”.
He added that it was difficult to predict Zuma’s future because “in the past he has defied all predictions”.
As his fate was being discussed by the NEC members, Zuma took time to go welcome his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni in the capital city Tshwane on Monday afternoon. He later flew to Havana in Cuba in the early hours of Tuesday morning for the funeral service of Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro at the weekend.