Analysts say pressure would continue to build
By Nsikan Ikpe
As people wake up to the sounds of glad tidings and messages of peace that traditionally herald the opening of a new year, for embattled President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, this is indeed a far-fetched luxury.
The sad news now is a new year message by the influential ‘ANC Stalwarts and Veterans,’ insisting that a minimum condition for entrenching the ‘party unity’ that the Zuma camp has now taken to requesting from other blocs within the party is his resignation as president to give the ANC fresh space to begin to build again under the new leadership team that is headed by Cyril Ramaphosa
This is even more significant given the two end-year shockers that Zuma had received. In the first one, his pick for successor in the ANC and the presidency, his former wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was defeated by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. And almost on the last day of the year, the Constitutional Court reprimanded the South African Parliament for failing to seriously hold Zuma to account as demanded by the constitution of the republic, ordering that it goes back to hold a proper impeachment debate on the Nkandla affair.
It will be recalled that the ANC led-parliament had rushed through the impeachment proceedings last year and swept it under the carpet, using its numerical strength in the legislature.
Analysts say that it is very likely that this string of pressure would continue to build in the next few days and weeks even as more judicial blows are yet being expected from the South African courts..
In the message by the stalwarts and veterans, they congratulated Cyril Ramaphosa on his election as president of the ANC, saying they hoped his leadership would be a breath of fresh air. They said he would not have an easy road, given the challenges the ANC faced.
“It cannot be that difficult to see what our country sees is wrong with our movement. A starting point and a clear message to the country, would be for our country’s president to voluntarily step down in the interests of country and the African National Congress. If the president really loves the ANC and wants it to remain in power by 2019 he would assist it by handing over the leadership of the country to the newly elected president of the ANC to better prepare for the 2019 elections.
“In 2018 no one should ever again believe that they can avoid their day in court because of their position in society. Real action against corruption has to happen, with the urgent appointment of a new head of the National Prosecuting Authority and the politicsation of our law enforcement agencies.
“The recent elective conference was not only a sad articulation on divisions, slates, factions and deals, but an indictment of the present state of both these leagues [youth and women]; the failure to elect women and youth into our new leadership and an expression of the continued patriarchy within our movement and wider society.”
President Jacob Zuma of South Africa