The ANC NEC meeting was supposed to have ended on Sunday but was extended to Monday because the party’s warring NEC members failed to agree on whether Zuma should step down or not.
Although participants at the three-day NEC meeting in Irene, only ended up wounding Zuma, the president, like other times, survived the ouster bid.
Be that as it may, the boardroom battle among the NEC, of a truth, now shows Zuma’s detractors are beginning to gain ground and confidence in this herculean battle for his elimination.
Sources had it that the following ministers led the charge against President Zuma’s continuous headship.
Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom
Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and his deputy Joe Phaahla
NEC member Fikile Xasa
ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu
ANC economic transformation chief Enoch Godongwana
It is understood that most ministers who spoke out against Zuma were those considering to resign from their respective positions.
On the defensive line were Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, Deputy Defence Minister Kebby Maphatsoe and African Union Commission chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
Hanekom was the first to raise Zuma’s recall. Other anti-Zuma supporters followed suit by demanding a secret ballot in a vote of no confidence against the president.
But these requests were vehemently opposed by Zuma backers who argued that such a vote was alien to the tradition of the ruling party. ANC Free State chairman Ace Magashule called on unhappy ministers to resign instead of launching further attacks.
In the course of the meeting, reports had it that Deputy Agriculture Minister Bheki Cele and Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa almost attacked each other physically over Marikana massacre issue.
Meanwhile, a Zuma supporter has requested President Zuma to hurriedly dismiss those ministers who opposed his leadership during the meeting. This comes after a group of ministers threatened to resign if Zuma refuses to step down.
The party is expected to release a statement on the outcome of the meeting today.