JZ’s apostles to launch new party

A lobby group backing Jacob Zuma is pushing ahead with a plan to form a new political party aiming to weaken the ANC enough at the polls for the former president to potentially return to power.

Their move ends several months of speculation that some of Zuma’s backers were planning to undermine President Cyril Ramaphosa by “punishing” the ANC in next year’s poll and forcing the governing party into holding an early national general council (NGC) to remove him from the presidency.

The Mail & Guardian has learned that Ramaphosa raised concerns about the behaviour of the pro-Ramaphosa and pro-Zuma camps in the ANC at the party’s national executive committee (NEC) meeting last weekend. Ramaphosa told the meeting that the party needed to get out of “pre-Nasrec mode”.

The pro-Zuma lobby, called Mazibuyele Emasisweni, is made up of religious and business bodies, traditional leaders and taxi operators.

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