Former president Nelson Mandela would at least have been proud of the ANC’s Twitter account, which kept soldiering on with tributes to him even as party leaders disappeared from their duties without a proper explanation from the party’s communications machinery. They were apparently all in Gauteng to have more “transition” talks with Jacob Zuma, who is still the President. By CARIEN DU PLESSIS.
Instead, there was going to be an early-morning mobilisation programme for the ANC’s commemoration of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison on February 11, 1990, led by the top six officials. But then there were programme changes to say ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa and chairperson Gwede Mantashe couldn’t make it any more.
Eventually, those of the party’s top six officials eventually tasked to do walkabouts and campaigning in neighbourhoods around Cape Town, failed to pitch up altogether, leaving local party activists and journalists hanging. There was no official notice from party spokespeople beforehand, and when journalists asked, they were told party deputy president David Mabuza, secretary general Ace Magashule, his deputy Jessie Duarte and treasurer-general Paul Mashatile had more “pressing matters” to attend.
They weren’t even in town any more, with most having left the night before, and Mashatile having jetted out in the morning.
Nobody would, however, be surprised if that got cancelled as well, but according to provincial party officials, mobilisation for that was on track and the rally was expected to be a success.
Ramaphosa also, according to the report, said he had no authority to grant Zuma immunity from prosecution, because it would amount to political interference.
In fact, even if Ramaphosa did strike a deal in this regard, it would have to remain top secret because the same investors Ramaphosa had been wooing, would not feel comfortable knowing that the country’s institutions functioned less than independently.
Nkoana-Mashabane is generally understood to be one of those first in line to be reshuffled should Zuma go (Lindiwe Sisulu has been mentioned as a possible replacement). Mahlobo is likely to follow not far behind.
On the surface the story remains much the same as the rest of the preceding week – that there’s been an agreement that Zuma would step down and this would be rolled out soon – but underneath, things seem to be moving fast now. And if an instagram post by first Lady Thobeka Madiba-Zuma is anything to go by, things could “get ugly”. DM
Photo of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa by Greg Nicolson / Daily Maverick.
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