ANC cancels NEC meeting over brewing tensions in Nkandla

Andile Sicetsha - 02.07.2021

Top-level NEC members are said to be headed to Nkandla, to hold peace talks with Jacob Zuma.

An impasse between former president Jacob Zuma and the judiciary has heightened tensions within the ranks of the African National Congress (ANC).

On the eve of a much-anticipated NEC ‘lekgotla’ weekend, the ruling party released a statement confirming the postponement of the high-level meeting.

ANC abruptly cancels NEC meeting

The ruling party revealed that at the centre of this decision are the events transpiring in Nkandla, outside the compound of the former president.

Zuma has, thus far, not complied with the Constitutional Court’s ruling in his contempt case. The 79-year-old was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment earlier this week and was given five days to hand himself over to police.

Two days remain before the matter is escalated to Police Minister Bheki Cele. If that happens, the minister will have the responsibility of ushering Zuma away to prison.

In its statement, the ANC confirmed rumblings of a retaliation from pro-Zuma die-hards and revealed that top-level members of the committee were headed to Nkandla “to ensure the maintenance of the rule of law and to avoid any violence, injury, or loss of life.”

War brews in Nkandla: Here are the latest updates

The ANC’s abrupt postponement is a clear enough sign that important political events are set to unfold this weekend.

Already, a contingent of public order police has been stationed at the intersection that leads to the former president’s compound and cordoned off surrounding areas. It appears that whatever is anticipated will require a heavy law enforcement presence.

An air of uncertainty hangs over the KZN homeland. The former president has, at this juncture, only appeared jovial and relaxed in images posted by his daughter and staunch supporter Dudu Zuma-Sobandla. However, after days of speculation, the Jacob Zuma Foundation confirmed that Msholozi will, in fact, address the nation this weekend.

Zuma has already made his legal move, according to reports that surfaced on Friday. It’s said his defence team, led by Advocate Dali Mpofu, intends to file an appeal for a permanent stay on the ConCourt ruling at the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

What tricks he has left up his sleeve will be the weekend’s blockbuster fixture. But, if Dudu’s recent posts on social media are anything to go by, then the series of events set to unfold in the next two days will mark a monumental shift in South Africa’s politica.