President Jacob Zuma did not say he would step down early if Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma becomes interim president, the Presidency said on Sunday.
“Further incorrect reports have been published indicating alleged demands said to have been made by President Zuma to have former AU Commission chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma appointed as Deputy President of the Republic,” Presidency spokesperson Dr Bongani Ngqulunga stated.
“No such discussion has taken place and no such demand has been made anywhere by President Zuma.”
The Mail & Guardian reported on Friday that this is the demand of Zuma’s supporters, following the election of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa as president of the majority party the African National Congress (ANC).
The denial was contained in a statement on “several distortions” over a meeting between Zuma and Ramaphosa on January 7 at the Dr John Langalibalele Dube presidential residence in Durban.
“The principals held their first formal meeting following the assumption of office by the Deputy President as president of the governing party the ANC.
“They discussed several issues, updating each other on matters in both government and the governing party. The two leaders met alone, and reports of other leaders being present are false,” stated Ngqulunga.
They did discuss Zuma’s plans to institute a Commission of Inquiry into alleged state capture, announced two days later, on January 9.
The two resolved to meet regularly for the sake of synergy between the governing party and the government since Zuma is no longer a member of the ANC’s national officials known as the “Top Six”.
“It would enable the deputy president to keep the Head of State and Government abreast of issues discussed by the leadership of the governing party.”
The two also interact in regular Cabinet committee and Cabinet meetings