Ace plays his cards‚ but his support of Zuma could backfire

A bid to rally more support for a fight-back plan to keep President Jacob Zuma in power seems to be in full swing‚ a political analyst said on Monday.

Ace Magashule this weekend came out to bat for Zuma‚ contradicting previous public statements by other party leaders that an exit for Zuma was being negotiated.
Image: RUSSELL ROBERTS

This after ANC secretary general Ace Magashule and deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte recently came out in support of Zuma‚ with Magashule calling him a “wonderful president” and launching a scathing attack on “factions” in the ANC who wanted him out.

Analyst Susan Booysen‚ of Wits University‚ said the comments by Magashule and Duarte were “powerful and also dangerous”.

“They are taking the risk of splitting the ANC… But I do not think at this stage that it is an indication that they have a majority support in the top six‚ but it’s two very powerful positions‚ who jointly can create havoc.”

Booysen agreed it could be seen as a last ditch attempt by Magashule to try and secure a future for himself in the party beyond ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa.

Magashule this weekend came out to bat for Zuma‚ contradicting previous public statements by other party leaders that an exit for Zuma was being negotiated.

“Jacob Zuma is the president of the country. There is no decision which we have taken as the NEC … it is only factional leaders who want to be populist who are making noise…these undisciplined members who engage the newspapers‚” he said during a speech in KZN. “Just because he is no longer president of the ANC doesn’t mean he should not be supported. What a wonderful president he was.”

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