16 February 2018

South Africa: A Tale of Two Days - Zuma's Last and Ramaphosa's First

Jacob Zuma's last-minute resignation from the country's presidency left ANC parliamentarians with a palpable sense of relief after the caucus convinced him they would vote with the Economic Freedom Fighters, led by his nemesis, Julius Malema, to oust him if he didn't leave. Now some are saying that they called his bluff - and that Zuma blinked first. By CARIEN DU PLESSIS.

Somewhere in between his defiant afternoon interview with the SABC and his almost measured suit-and-red-tie resignation speech in the later hours of Wednesday evening, Jacob Zuma must have had a Damascene conversion.

If talk among ANC strategists is to be believed, the EFF deserves some credit for this.

On that morning, the ANC caucus held a special meeting. It was scheduled for 11:00 to give Zuma a chance to deliver his expected resignation address, which should have happened at 10:00.

Zuma had an apparent change of mind about this, and government communications people were told to "uninvite" journalists by telling them the original notice for the 10:00 briefing was "fake news".

The 11:00 ANC parliamentary caucus meeting went ahead nonetheless. None of the ANC MPs came out in Zuma's defence during this meeting, one of those present said....

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