The African National Congress’ (ANC) lekgotla this weekend will be preceded by a special two-day meeting starting Thursday. This comes as speculation mounts that the party’s National Executive Committee may recall President Jacob Zuma to avoid two centres of power – one at Luthuli House and the other at the Union Buildings.
It is just under a month since the election of the new ANC leadership and the winds of change are blowing. Those accused of looting State Owned Enterprises are especially feeling the heat.
The National Executive Committee is expected to elect its national working committee and sub-committee structures and then the elephant in the room.
“This issue of having a different president of the ANC and the different president of the country is a very delicate matter and could be seen by others as having two centres of power. But we don’t see it in that regard. There is only one centre of power. The centre of power is the ANC,” says ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa.
However, the ANC is non-committal about Zuma’s immediate future. Some say even if he were to stay, his power has diminished.
“He’s clearly not making decisions at the moment. The decisions are being made by the new leadership of the ANC, not only Mr Ramaphosa but the other members of the NEC,” says Political Analyst Steven Friedman.
He also weighed in on the NPA’s newfound vigour, acting against those implicated in corruption allegations. “This would not have happened before the election of Cyril Ramaphosa. It’s happening now only because Cyril Ramaphosa is the ANC president.”
Another issue on the agenda is the future of the PECs in KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State, declared invalid by higher courts. Both are appealing the judgments.
It is yet to be seen if Secretary General Ace Magashule – also Free State chair will steer the discussion regarding his province, as he is seen to be conflicted in the matter.
Analysts say he ought to recuse himself.