In what appeared to be final countdown for President Jacob Zuma’s presidency, a year after the Constitutional Court found he had broken his oath of office, he is engaged in a desperate rear-guard action to ensure he survives his term.
The results of the action will come down to two showdowns today when the ANC top six meet at the party’s Luthuli House headquarters for their regular weekly Monday meeting. That will be followed by a special national working committee meeting this afternoon.
It is alleged that three of the top six — Treasurer-General Zweli Mkhize, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe — are planning a showdown for Zuma after he instituted a cabinet reshuffle without consulting the top six.
The three have openly spoken out against Zuma’s decision to axe former finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas. The two were axed in last week’s cabinet reshuffle which saw former home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba being sworn in as a new finance minister.
Their firing was based — according to Zuma’s critics — on a “fake” intelligence report which said the two were, while on an investor road show to the US and UK, to secretly meet backers to discuss.