Johannesburg – President Jacob Zuma has survived a gruelling attack on his leadership from within the ANC’s National Executive Committee.
The “surprise” motion by Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom for Zuma to step down or be recalled was defeated.
There was no voting, but more people on Monday spoke for and against the motion. Insiders say Zuma’s defenders had regrouped, and dominated the speakers’ list.
This was perhaps Zuma’s toughest political battle since Polokwane in 2007.
He faced a revolt by members of his Cabinet including Hanekom, Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi and Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi. Deputy Health Minister Joe Paahla also supported Hanekom’s motion as well as some senior SACP members.
However, Zuma’s Cabinet is divided with other ministers including International Relations and Co-operations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, State Security Minister David Mahlobo and Agriculture Minister Senzeni Zokwana defending him.
A Zuma defender told News24 that it was gruelling but they had managed to regroup following a poor showing on Saturday.
Zuma is said to have addressed the NEC following a long list of speakers, with many people wanting their position to be known.
The party is due to hold a media conference on Tuesday afternoon at its headquarters.