South Africa’s ruling African National Congress has ordered President Jacob Zuma to resign, according to several news sources.
Zuma is in his second term as president of the country, after being elected in 2009 and re-election in 2014. But he is no longer the leader of his party, which he had controlled from December 2007 until last year. His efforts to ensure the election of a loyal successor fell short at the party conference in December, where businessman — and current national vice president — Cyril Ramaphosa won the party’s vote.
Now, Zuma faces being ousted by Ramaphosa and the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) — just as he himself ousted then-President Thabo Mbeki in 2008, after defeating Mbeki for the presidency of the ANC in 2017. (A caretaker president, Kgalema Motlanthe, then served until the 2009 elections.)
South Africa’s Independent Online reported early Tuesday, South African time: “Just before midnight, ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa left … followed by his motorcade, to go deliver a message to Zuma – that the NEC wants him to resign within 48 hours or they will recall him.”
Zuma came to power in the ANC, and the country, on a wave of left-wing populist support. But his administration has been deeply corrupt, leading to widespread dissatisfaction even within the ANC ranks.
There has been mounting pressure on the ANC and Ramaphosa in particular to push Zuma out the door in order to begin reforms that can help the country rebuild its struggling institutions. Zuma is rumored to have demanded concessions from his successor as a condition of his resignation, such as immunity from future prosecution.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.