While the governing African National Congress (ANC) continues to pledge their support for Jacob Zuma, emerging reports have it that the president was offered R2-billion so he would step down.
Information from within the governing ANC has it that President Jacob Zuma rejected an offer of R2 billion amnesty deal so he could finally vacate the Presidential seat as many South Africans wished.
The President, however, turned down the retirement package while insisting that he would only resign at his own term.
The package was, according to daily Maverick, arranged by supporters of Cyril Ramaphosa – South Africa’s Deputy President and presidential aspirant. as part of the retirement package, the alleged Ramaphosa’s supporters vowed to pay Zuma more monies and also wipe out all records that may implicate him in future, so he would have a peaceful retirement without fear of future prosecution.
Among the implicating record to be wiped out includes relief from the almost 800 charges of fraud and corruption that still linger against him.
The ANC has, however, denied the report, calling it “fake news”. But, a source within the party said that the Zuma problem has become so intractable that an act of “historic imagination” is required to solve it:
“We have to ask ourselves: how do you reach a win-win scenario? How do we avoid a scorched earth situation? And how do you not dig yourself into a deeper hole? Lastly,” added the source, “some belligerence may linger—people may not quite have gotten it. So how do you deal with that?”
Responding to the alleged money offer to Zuma is ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa who said that no such offer has ever been made, and that the article in question was completely false.
Meanwhile, a political analyst Susan Booysen said the President Jacob Zuma would have implicated himself if he took the offer as accepting the money would mean he would officially be confessing that he was guilty of something.
“This kind of money is only attractive to someone who lacks resources‚ and at the moment I doubt he does. It is more powerful being president than being a billionaire for him‚ so it is almost impossible that this will materialise. Besides‚ as it appears he is both a president and a billionaire; this bailout does not make sense.
“Zuma will exit on his terms‚ just as much as he does things on his terms. He will hold on to power for as long as he can. The tragedy is that there are people who have been complacent in keeping him in power. It will be difficult to pull the plug now‚” she said.
Other analysts have also noted that while the president appeared to be orchestrating “state capture”, he is by far not the only player – and were he to take the deal, the question remains on how to deal with the other players involved.
An anonymous law expert said, such an amnesty deal could be done, with the powers of the president to grant a pardon. Should Zuma step down as part of such a deal, his replacement would have the privilege to pardon whomever they choose – even if there is no conviction in place.