It might be a bad political move for African National Congress (ANC) president Cyril Ramaphosa to immediately take over as interim president if Jacob Zuma steps down as president of South Africa, according to Society, Work and Development Institute (SWOP) political researcher Tasneem Essop.
National Assembly Speaker and member of the top six of the ruling ANC Baleka Mbete sent the country into a tizz on Tuesday when she announced that the State of the Nation Address (SONA) to be delivered by Zuma on Thursday, was postponed. This announcement came amid heavy speculation that Zuma is about to step down.
No new date for the 2018 SONA has been announced yet.
In a Facebook live interview with The Daily Vox, Essop said it would be a better political move for Ramaphosa to elect an interim â€˜caretakerâ€
â€œIf Ramaphosa takes over as state president, that might be a bad political move. It would serve both purposes if he were to put in a caretaker president that symbolically speaks to unity in the ANC, that is perhaps a woman because thatâ€
However Essop said that there are indications from both members of the party national executive committee and leaders of the ANC that Ramaphosa will take over as president.
The ANC is characterised by deep factions divided by their support of newly elected president of the party Cyril Ramaphosa or president of the country Jacob Zuma. Essop said factions are a common in politics.
â€œIn politics in 2018, having an ANC that is fully behind you is a really difficult thing. It was always going to be the case that thereâ€
Asides from managing the party and the possible removal of Zuma, Ramaphosa also has to campaign for the national elections set to take place in 2019.
Essop also said Ramaphosa needs to take decisive action in his removal of Zuma especially because he campaigned strongly against corruption – and South African associate corruption with the president.
She said: â€œZuma is symbolic for the kind of corruption that weâ€
Watch the full interview below.