The top leadership of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress is this weekend debating a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.
The news was first broken by the South African news site, News24.com, and confirmed to Bloomberg by five separate sources. The party’s National Executive Committee began a meeting outside Pretoria on Saturday and it was scheduled to continue on Sunday.
Responding to speculation ahead of the meeting, the party’s secretary-general, Gwede Mantashe, said the issue of Mr. Zuma’s removal was “not on the agenda” but refused to rule out the possibility of members of the committee—which comprises top ANC leaders—tabling a motion.
News24 reported that the motion was tabled by Joel Netshitenzhe, one of the party’s leading intellectuals and strategic thinkers, who served as head of government communications in the administration of former President Thabo Mbeki.
As the news of the move broke, Johannesburg’s City Press newspaper published what it said were emails revealing the indebtedness of Mr. Zuma and his allies to the controversial Gupta family of Johannesburg.
The emails, allegedly leaked from inside the Guptas’ business organisation, showed how the family “seduced Cabinet ministers and CEOs of state-owned companies with opulent hotel stays and chauffeur-driven trips in luxury cars to their home in the exclusive Dubai suburb of Emirates Hills,” News24 reported.
Mr. Zuma has been South African president since 2009 and won re-election in 2014.