The fate of President Jacob Zuma is expected to feature high on the African National Congress’ (ANC) National Executive Committee meeting which convenes on Wednesday in East London.
This is the first NEC meeting since the party’s election of Cyril Ramaphosa as its new President at Nasrec in December last year.
While the meeting will discuss this weekend’s January 8 Statement to be delivered by Ramaphosa, it must also deliberate on whether having two presidents, one at Luthuli House and the other at the Union Buildings, is a viable option for the party.
As the new leadership of the ANC convenes to deliberate on its message for the party membership in the next twelve months the elephant in the room is likely to be the what Zuma’s role in the party will be going forward.
While the resounding message has been the need to restore unity in the party there are clearly differences among those in the new NEC about how this can be achieved, with some having called for President Zuma to step down.
The meeting, to be presided over by newly-elected party President Ramaphosa, will be the first indication of what the new leadership’s vision will be and what its internal power balance looks like.