JOHANNESBURG — “He’ll go now-now.”
That’s how a South African weekly over the weekend summarized the uncertainty surrounding President Jacob Zuma’s fate as the nation’s leader. Yes, he’ll almost certainly step down, but not right now. Instead, it’ll be sometime in the near future, or, to use a quintessential South African expression, “now-now.”
Negotiations between Mr. Zuma and his deputy and probable successor as president, Cyril Ramaphosa, over South Africa’s presidency entered their second week on Monday after days of premature reports that Mr. Zuma’s exit was imminent. The lack of clarity surrounding his future — and the nature of the talks themselves — deepened the anxiety and frustration among many South Africans.
But a meeting of the leaders of the African National Congress, hastily scheduled for Monday afternoon, raised the possibility that the drawn-out negotiations were finally coming to an end.
“We know you want this matter to be finalized,” Mr. Ramaphosa told South Africans on Sunday. “We know you want closure on this matter.”
Mr. Ramaphosa added that the meeting on Monday of the party’s 86-member national executive committee would “discuss this very matter and because our people want this matter to be finalized, the N.E.C. will be doing precisely that.”