Published: Fri, February 09, 2018
Life&Culture | By Peggy Hughes

Ramaphosa Rules Out Zuma Immunity

Ramaphosa Rules Out Zuma Immunity

While the balance of power shifted in December when Ramaphosa won the ANC's presidency, Zuma, whose nine-year tenure has been riddled with scandal, retains considerable backing.

The ANC's party leader, Cyril Ramaphosa, said in a statement that the formal national executive committee (NEC) meeting has been set for 17 and 18 February.

But leaked comments from senior ANC official Paul Mashatile suggested that at the weekend Zuma was digging in.

As pressure grows inside and outside the ANC for Zuma to resign, the president and his deputy have been meeting to discuss a transition of power that Ramaphosa has indicated should not humiliate Zuma or further divide the country of 55 million people.

As discussions continue, Ramaphosa says he will be able to report back to the organisation and the country in the "coming days".

He said the DA and EFF flatly reject any amnesty agreement or special deal for Zuma to exit.

The EFF has asked the speaker of parliament, Baleka Mbete, to allow a secret ballot for the no-confidence vote, a decision which would increase the chances of Zuma losing the vote.

"The president of the republic must give way to the new leadership, we have been elected by conference and we don't take kindly to being told by the one who is deployed what to do".

"We will tell you exactly what the NEC has decided post our meeting".

Opposition parties have warned they will take legal action against Mr Ramaphosa if he offers Mr Zuma immunity from criminal prosecution as part of any exit deal. Opposition leaders will meet on Monday to discuss a scheduled motion of no confidence in Zuma on February 22 as well as parliament's mandate to elect a new president in the event that Zuma is removed, the parties said.

The rand, which has tended to strengthen on signs that Zuma could step down before his second term as president ends next year, was firmer on Tuesday.

At the same time, the party's secretary-general Ace Magashule is expected to brief ANC MPs on the matter on Thursday.

Zuma is the country's president while Ramaphosa is the ANC president.

Ramaphosa said progress has been made in their discussion with Zuma. We've had our meetings as cabinet.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation has also urged him to step down.

Zuma will meet Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini at 1200 GMT on Monday at the king's residence in Ulundi in the Kwa-Zulu Natal province, said Prince Thulani Zulu, a spokesman for the Zulu royal household.

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