Possible reasons for ANC not firing Zuma?

Never before in his seven-year reign has there been such a strong call by a wide spectrum of ANC members for President Jacob Zuma to step down. Still, he emerged seemingly strongly after the weekend meeting of the party’s top leaders. So why couldn’t the national executive committee (NEC) fire Zuma?

The first question the party would have had to ask is whether they wanted to recall Zuma from the country’s presidency, or from the party’s presidency, orbit? Some believed it would not create a right precedent for national executive committee (NEC) alone to recall Zuma from the ANCs presidency, as this would be seen to be overriding the choice the branches made at the party’s elective conferences in 2007 and 2012.

Local government elections campaign: A source who attended the meeting and who was in the lobby group that wanted to see Zuma go, told M&G Online thatches group was in the majority but consciously pulled back because it would impact negatively on the party before the local government elections.

Bad precedents: Many in the ANC still remember President Thabo Mbeki’s recalling 2008 as a bruising, painful and polarising period in the governing party. Should Zuma be recalled as ANC president too, there is always the risk that Ramaphosa would not be elected ANC president, which would again present the problem of a duplication of power centres.