Editor’s note – Briefly.co.za takes a look at the possible political scenarios which face the country from 21 December 2017. The date is important because it is the day after the ruling party’s 54th National Elective conference closes.
While everyone is understandably focused on the actual conference which is scheduled to take place from the 16th to the 20th of December we have decided to look at what the future might hold for the country once the conference closes.
The leadership battle
By now it has become clear that the race to become the next leader of the African National Congress (ANC) will be fought between Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. While there are five other candidates in the race not one of them has managed to make an impact at a branch level.
It is also important to remember the ANC will not only be electing a new president at the conference but will be voting for an entirely new leadership body which includes a new deputy president, general secretary, treasurer general, chairperson and almost as important as the actual president a new National Executive Committee (NEC).
The NEC is the highest decision-making body within the ANC.
Will Zuma stay or will Zuma go
While there is no legal requirement in either Constitution of the Republic or the ANC which require Jacob Zuma to step down as President of the country after the conference many experts and analysts believe his position has become untenable for the ANC.
Most insiders feel that the ANC will lose its majority at the 2019 election if Zuma is allowed to remain in office. Analysts predict that if Dlamini-Zuma wins the presidency she will ask her former husband to step aside gracefully.
If Ramaphosa wins and Zuma refuses to go the ANC is likely to table a motion of no confidence in Zuma and instruct its MPs to vote against him.
The other option open to the ruling party is to impeach Zuma. Impeachment requires a 75% majority of MP’s to succeed and if Zuma is impeached he will lose all of his presidential benefits such as pension, security staff and free flights for life.
Who will lead the country if Zuma is removed?
While the ANC could appoint a caretaker president as it did after Thabo Mbeki was forced to resign the scenario seems unlikely. There are no obvious candidates to fill the position and it looks like both Ramaphosa and Dlamini-Zuma are more than ready and willing to assume control of the government.
The short answer to the question will Jacob Zuma still be President of the Republic of South Africa on 21 December 2017 is yes. Even if he resigns Parliament will have to convene to elect a new President from among its ranks.
Whether or not Jacob Zuma will remain as president for much of 2018 is a question no one has the answer to right now.
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Brieflyco.za
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