Parliament may give the president the boot, but he may cook up an excuse to involve the security forces in his desperation.
President Jacob Zuma has begun to panic as chances of him losing power on August 8 following the motion of no confidence are higher now than ever, a political analyst has said.
Professor André Duvenhage, from North-West University’s Potchefstroom Campus, said the country must prepare for a situation where Zuma may be removed by his fellow ANC members in parliament.
He said that to counter the situation, the president may go the “Praetorian scenario” and use security forces to help him to remain in power.
The analyst said that with more senior ANC members coming out openly against Zuma, the chances of him being ousted were higher now than ever before. Zuma had survived seven votes of no confidence previously because all ANC MPs voted as they were expected to, but that was not the case any more.
“There is a huge tide against Zuma this time around. There are more and more senior ANC members coming out against him. The country is opposed to state capture and his links with the Guptas,” Duvenhage said.
The analyst said the situation was 50-50, but there was a likely 50-plus-one chance for him to be voted out with the help of at least 50 ANC MPs.
A source said National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete was seriously considering allowing a secret ballot for the vote of no confidence as the Constitutional Court had put her in a tight spot with its ruling that she has the power to do so. At the same time, Mbete, as an ANC presidential candidate, has a vested interest in Zuma being ousted.
The source said some ANC members believe the best way of bringing unity and political stability in the ANC was to remove Zuma.
“His removal would not cause the ANC to break up because he would have been removed by parliament, not the ANC,” the source said.
The debate over Zuma’s possible ousting heightened at the weekend when EFF leader Julius Malema announced he had managed to canvass 60 ANC MPs, including cabinet ministers, to vote against Zuma.
Addressing the EFF’s fourth anniversary bash in Durban on Saturday, Malema said ANC politicians were confident they would vote Zuma out.
“Malema is aligned to the anti-Zuma people. I have no doubt the ANC MPs will vote the president out. I know that convention tells us that the ANC will toe the Zuma line, but let’s not forget that more and more ANC MPs have come out against him. They are preparing for him to go on August 8,” Duvenhage said.
However, he said that as a securocrat, Zuma may opt for the Praetorian scenario and try to bring in the security forces to help him stay in power.
This scenario happens in a high level of political instability where security forces would find an excuse to bring stability.
“We may be in for big trouble. When I read the body language of South African politics, the next six months will be crucial for the ruling party,” Duvenhage said.
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