NEWS
11/01/2018 04:35 GMT | Updated 11/01/2018 04:35 GMT

Zuma Stays Put. For Now

The NEC did not discuss Zuma's removal on Wednesday as previously expected.

Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg via Getty Images
South African President Jacob Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa's deputy president and president of the ANC.

President Jacob Zuma's possible removal was not discussed by the ANC's new national executive committee (NEC) at their first meeting in East London on Wednesday, Business Day reported. This is despite previous reports that his ousting was on the agenda by ANC officials who want him out.

The rand weakened by 1.7% to the dollar as news hit that Zuma was not removed. Business Day reported that the rand has gained 8% against the dollar since Cyril Ramaphosa was elected president of the ANC in December, Business Day reported.

On Wednesday, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule reportedly said the NEC had only discussed the party's 106th birthday statement, due to be delivered in East London on Saturday.

According to Daily Maverick, the meeting took just five hours. This is in contrast to the meeting at which former president Thabo Mbeki's recall was discussed, which reportedly went on for a day and ended after midnight.

IOL reported that officials had decided to defer any other issues besides the birthday statement to the NEC's scheduled meeting next week. There was speculation now that South Africa could face more trouble with investment agencies should Zuma stay on as president of the country.

Zuma's surprise announcement on Tuesday, that he would establish a commission of inquiry into state capture, was understood to be a preemptive strike at those who wanted to use his lack of movement on the subject as grounds for his removal on Wednesday.

NEC sources told News24 that Ramaphosa and Zuma were in talks discussing Zuma's exit as head of state.

But on Wednesday, Magashule reportedly denied this, and said there was no debate within the NEC about having two centres of power.