ANC would prefer to handle Zuma recall in-house: analyst


President Jacob Zuma gestures as he addresses the parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, November 2, 2017.

JOHANNESBURG - If President Jacob Zuma is recalled, it is likely to happen through the ANC&39;s National Executive Committee (NEC) rather than in Parliament. 

The National Assembly&39;s subcommittee on review of rules will meet on Wednesday and Thursday to discuss the draft procedure for removing a president. 

It comes after the Constitutional Court ruled on December 29, 2017, that the National Assembly had failed to put in place proper rules regulating the procedure for section 89(1) of the Constitution, which deals with the impeachment of a president. 

In March 2016, the same court ruled that Zuma had breached his constitutional duties in the way he dealt with the Public Protector&39;s remedial action over the use of taxpayers&39; money in paying for upgrades to his private home. 

READ: Opposition parties celebrate ConCourt ruling on Zuma

In the latest judgment, the highest court in the land gave Parliament 120 days to decide what the rules of impeachment against a head of state are and another 120 days thereafter, to act on those rules against the president.

Once the draft procedure is finalised by the subcommittee it will have to be adopted by the National Assembly as part of its rules.

But, even if Parliament finds that Zuma violated the constitution, and impeachment proceedings are instituted, a two-thirds vote by MPs is required to remove him. 

READ: 2017: the year of endless court battles for Jacob Zuma

During the failed no-confidence vote against the president in August 2017, 26 ANC MPs broke ranks and voted with opposition parties. However, this was not enough for the motion to succeed. 

And, even though there is a new top six in the ANC, political analyst Karima Brown said it is unlikely that more ANC MPs will vote to remove Zuma.

"Given the threshold that needs to be met, it is the ANC (in Parliament) that is going to have to remove its own deployee, and I think the party would try and avoid that.

"They would try and make a decision internally. The National Executive Committee does have the power to remove the president and I think that&39;s the option the party would prefer rather than 18 months before going to a general election having to vote with opposition parties to remove him."

Meanwhile, the ANC NEC is meeting in East London on Wednesday, facing a difficult decision on whether to recall Zuma now or let him finish his term in 2019.

The president is under increasing pressure following both the Constitutional Court ruling on impeachment rulings, as well as the high court ruling that Zuma is too compromised to appoint a new prosecutions boss. The court said that duty should fall to deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa. 

"Cyril Ramaphosa has a couple of very strict court rulings to adhere to and we&39;ll see whether this first NEC meeting, whether he will persuade his National Executive Committee to fall in line the way the did at (the ANC) conference," said Brown.

Ramaphosa and Zuma met in Durban at the weekend, their first formal get-together since the ANC elective conference.

Should Zuma be removed as president he would lose all the benefits - including his pension and security detail - that he would receive if he steps down or if his term expires.