JOHANNESBURG/ CAPE TOWN – The postponement on the State of the Nation Address (Sona) is being seen as the strongest indication yet that this could be the end of the road for President Jacob Zuma.
Since Tuesday morning, several African National Congress (ANC)leaders who attended the national working committee (NWC) meeting on Monday have been speaking to Eyewitness News about the likelihood of Sona being postponed.
The reasons they gave included if President Zuma was not to resign before Wednesday’s national executive committee (NEC) meeting, the party’s highest decision-making body would move to recall him and there wouldn’t be enough time for the party to finalise who would deliver the address.
Some sources are telling EWN that the president will be recalled on Wednesday night and that his removal will be put to a vote if his supporters don’t give in.
They say if he refuses to go even after a decision is made, Members of Parliament (MPs) will be instructed to vote in support of a motion of no confidence in him.
Earlier, the ANC indicated that it did not want things to get to this level and the party wouldn’t want to embarrass the president.
Political Analyst Mcebisi Ndletyana says it was always inevitable that Parliament would have to deal with party problems.
“They would not want to have this event disrupted or tainted by conflict because this ANC meant to herald something new.”
LISTEN: Baleka Mbete announces Sona postponement
SONA POSTPONEMENT WELCOMED
The ANC has welcomed it, saying its caucus will await the outcomes of the NEC scheduled for Wednesday to give guidance on the way forward.
The Democratic Alliance’s John Steenhuizen says the decision is a positive one.
“I think Zuma is on his way out, it would be unlikely that they would fire this type of round and not meet its mark.”
President Zuma has also come out to confirm that he requested the postponement.
He says this is due to quote “certain developments which make it not conducive to successfully hold the sitting and deliver Sona”.
Opposition had parties bombarded Parliament with requests to postpone Sona and they are now claiming a victory.
But ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu says the decision comes after internal discussions and that the presiding officers were given latitude to decide.
“We are happy that the presiding officers, informed by the prevailing political environment, have arrived at a decision and we welcome that decision.”
IFP chief whip Narend Singh said: “We think it’s a very responsible decision taken by the presiding officers as they say in consultation with the president of the country, Parliament is going to have a full reputation in the eyes of the people out there.”
(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)