What happens now Jacob Zuma has been recalled by the ANC?


The wolves have been knocking at the door for Jacob Zuma for weeks. After years of malpractice as the serving South African President, he perhaps didn’t count on this: The ANC demanding he gets recalled.

With Mr Zuma finally, finally being pushed towards the exit door, attention turns to what happens now. The immediate aftermath of a President being told to leave is always a confusing period of time, but we’re on standby to clear a few things up:

What happens when the NEC recall a President?

The ANC NEC have decided to handle things ‘in-house’. But that doesn’t mean Jacob Zuma actually has to resign. If said resignation fails to materialise, the NEC would then have an option to propose an internal motion of no confidence against the serving President.

It goes to a vote via secret ballot. If more than half of the National Executive Committee vote against him, he will effectively be out of a job. All that’s left following the internal party ruling is a referral to Parliament. If the National Assembly ratify the process, he will be made to leave office.

Will Jacob Zuma resign now?

Following a humiliating party decision to publicly denounce his leadership, resigning looks like JZ’s best option. However, for the last eight days, he has failed to take his leave following a series of crunch discussions with the ANC.

By resigning, he retains a lot of Presidential benefits like pensions and security services. But he’s been stalling his chance to walk away in order to negotiate a good deal for himself. It’s been reported he wants ‘immunity’ from state capture – something that Cyril Ramaphosa and co haven’t agreed to.

Jacob Zuma very rarely does things that are sensible or convenient. By failing to resign, he’s now being thrown to the lions. If his own party don’t put him out of his misery, than there’s a queue outside the National Assembly ready to take their chance.

Will Jacob Zuma be impeached?

The decision will be then taken to Parliament. There is already a motion of no confidence waiting for Jacob Zuma on Thursday 22 February, as tabled by the EFF. The President will be subject to a motion of no confidence, under grounds for impeachment laid out by Section 89 of the Constitution.

Two-thirds of MPs would have to vote in favour of the no confidence motion to ensure Mr Zuma gets the boot. The magic number – should all of Parliament’s representatives be in attendance for the ballot – is 266. That’s how many MP votes would be needed to oust Zuma.

Will it come to that? It’s still too early to say. But Jacob Zuma doesn’t play ball by anyone else’s rules. One thing we can all count on is that if the President goes down, he goes down swinging.


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