Speculation that Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma could be made interim president – to smooth the passage of the recall of her ex-husband Jacob Zuma as president of South Africa – have been described as “fake news” by Ace Magashule, the new ANC secretary general
Indicating that he did not know where these rumours were coming from, the told eNCA that the story about Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who is former African Union commission chairwoman, assuming the presidency was a nonsense.
He urged journalists attending the 106th anniversary celebrations of the African National Congress at East London (Buffalo City) in the Eastern Cape that they should discuss pressing stories with the leadership – such as himself – who were available for interviews.
He mumbled under his breath – or so it appeared on eNCA – that he did not know where these rumours came from.
The Mail & Guardian speculated that Dlamini-Zuma could be made interim president.
It reported on Friday that supporters of President Zuma were demanding that ANC MP Dlamini-Zuma take over as the country’s president – on an interim basis – as a condition for him to step down. It quoted party insiders familiar with the behind-the-scenes negotiations on Zuma’s future.
It was widely expected that the national executive committee would discuss the recall of President Zuma at its Wednesday meeting – but this did not materialise. It is not known if this would be discussed at a later phase or would be left to the national working committee to make a call on this matter.
A Cape Messenger source said that one proposal was that Baleka Mbete, the Speaker of the national assembly, would automatically become interim president if Zuma did not resign – or didn’t respond to a recall by the ANC. If Zuma does not leave voluntary, a vote of no confidence could be held. An ad hoc committee of the national assembly was also putting the final touches to impeachment procedures – which would require a two-thirds majority. If an impeachment were to succeed, Zuma would lose all his benefits of office.
If Zuma is impeached or if there is a vote of no confidence, Mbete could act until the 2019 election when Ramaphosa could come in as president – assuming the ANC were to win that election.
But with no clarity on whether Zuma would be recalled, it now looks as if Zuma’s exit could take longer rather than sooner to happen.