Johannesburg – President Jacob Zuma is fighting for political survival after another motion of no confidence was tabled against him at a meeting of the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) in Pretoria.
At least four sources with direct knowledge of events inside the closed NEC meeting confirmed to News24 that African National Congress policy guru and NEC member Joel Netshitenzhe tabled a motion for Zuma to step down.
Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, his deputy Joe Phaahla and axed tourism minister Derek Hanekom spoke out in support of Netshitenzhe’s motion.
An inside source told News24 Netshitenzhe argued that the case against Zuma had “worsened” since Hanekom’s call in November 2016 for him to go.
“He mentioned all the things we read about in the news: The Cabinet reshuffle, the downgrade [to junk status], the reports on state capture… the litany of problems all linked to him [Zuma].”
Netshitenzhe is a former head of the government’s communications department, the GCIS.
The meeting which adjourned on Saturday early evening was expected to continue on Sunday.
Netshitenzhe’s motion came in spite of ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe telling journalists earlier that the motion was not on the agenda.
According to News24 sources, there are long lists of speakers for and against the motion.
In November, a similar motion put forward by Hanekom at the NEC failed. He was supported by several Cabinet ministers.
Those who want Zuma to go fear the party is losing credibility by the many scandals linked to the president.
Zuma’s supporters who have always dominated the NEC have argued the structure does not have constitutional powers to recall Zuma. They have also added that the power is vested in the branches which elected him to the position.
Former president Thabo Mbeki was recalled by the ANC NEC as state president in 2008 after the KwaZulu-Natal High Court ruled he had interfered in the prosecution of Zuma on charges of corruption.
The judgment was later overruled by the Supreme Court of Appeal.
The ANC’s alliance partners have previously supported the motion for Zuma’s removal, citing that it would be dangerous for the ANC to keep him on as president ahead of the policy conference which takes place at the end of June.
An NEC member told News24 it would be irresponsible for the party not to discuss Zuma’s recall, while the SACP’s deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila urged the party to deal with the matter or accept the demise of the 105 year old liberation movement.
WATCH Joel Netshitenzhe talking on corruption: