Zuma Must Step Down, Says Mashatile

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The African National Congress (ANC) treasurer-general says the president’s exit has to be handled internally within the ANC.

President Jacob Zuma must step down from office to avoid creating two centres of power in the country, says ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile.

In an interview with CNBC Africa on Friday, Mashatile said the best way to avoid a power tussle between Luthuli House and the Union Buildings, President Zuma had to vacate office.

“Our view is that there should be a change of guard. You need to transfer power, you can’t have two centres of power. We want to see a situation where there is one centre with no tension, and the best possible way is if the state president exits,” he said.

Mashatile’s comments come amid mounting pressure on President Zuma to resign as the country’s head of state ahead of Thursday’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) in parliament. He confirmed that the ANC’s top six officials were expected to meet with President Zuma this weekend. The ANC secretary-general, Ace Magashule has confirmed that the top six members are meeting President Zuma this weekend. 

Earlier this week, the ANC’s national working committee (NWC) gathered and agreed that President Zuma should not be allowed to address the nation during the Sona. Mashatile said the top six had promised the NWC to give it feedback on the issue, however, President Zuma had to be engaged with and the matter surrounding his exit had to be handled internally within the ANC.