Political Desk: NEC postponement signals progress in talks with Zuma - analyst

While the postponement of a National Executive Committee meeting that was due to be held on Wednesday is being seen as a failure to decide on President Jacob Zuma's future, Public Law professor Richard Calland says SA deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa may be making headway with him.

Anxiety remains as African National Congress (ANC) officials continue to negotiate Zuma's transition.

Ramaphosa released a statement on Wednesday, describing his discussions with the president as "constructive".

Calland says a political transition of this nature is not easy.

This is a significant change in the guard and I think it would be naive to think that it would go perfectly smoothly, particularly bearing in mind the main protagonist, Jacob Zuma and the political economy of his position.

Professor Richard Calland, Public Law Professor, UCT

Here is a man who has vested interests, who is vulnerable to prosecution, concerned about his future and is therefore keen to navigate his departure in a way that serves those interests as best as possible.

Professor Richard Calland, Public Law Professor, UCT

He says Ramaphosa's statement is also clear indication of progress.

My speculation is as follows, the only reason Ramaphosa signed off on that postponement was because he had made serious progress in his negotiation with Zuma.

Professor Richard Calland, Public Law Professor, UCT

One of the complexities of this and why it is very hard being a political analyst right now, is because the circle of trust in terms of that particular negotiation is extremely tight. But reading between the lines of the statement made by the ANC and then the clear statement that Ramaphosa issued in his name...I trust in his negotiating ability.

Professor Richard Calland, Public Law Professor, UCT

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