South Africa's ANC To Support No-Confidence Motion Against Zuma

Larry Hoffman
February 14, 2018

South African President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday defied an ultimatum from the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to resign within 48 hours, pitching the nation into an unprecedented political crisis.

The party's national executive committee met Monday to discuss Zuma's future in a meeting which lasted eight hours until the early of hours of Tuesday morning.

The party's chief whip, Jackson Mthembu, said the ANC hoped to elect party leader and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa as the country's new president following the confidence motion on Thursday or Friday.

The rand's fortunes have been closely tied to political outcomes over the past couple of months, with the currency rallying on any sign of an end to the corruption scandals and economic decline that have tainted Zuma's time in office.

An opposition-sponsored motion of no confidence in Zuma had been scheduled for February 22, but the ruling party joined opposition leaders in pushing for the date to be moved to this week in a rare show of unity among rival political factions.

"I need to be furnished on what I've done", the 75-year-old president said.

Ramaphosa has held private talks with Zuma on a power transition setting off concern about backroom deals.

Disgraced by a series of corruption scandals, although he claims he has done no wrong, Zuma still retains support within the ruling party and the parliamentary vote could be tight.

But the ANC rejected Zuma's proposal and the President's current stance is unclear. Mbeki did not contest the order and Zuma became president after elections the following year.

The uncertainty over the fate of the leader of one of Africa's biggest economies, who appears politically damaged beyond fix, stirred speculation that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Zuma's expected successor, had been negotiating a deal with the president in exchange for his resignation.

Magashule said Zuma asked for three to six months to complete the job, but said the party felt that was too long, given his sinking approval ratings as critical elections approach next year.

Zuma, however, is holding on - he refused to resign, News24 reported.

"If President Zuma at some point will respond, he will respond, but we can't continue waiting".

He was scheduled to stand down next year after serving the maximum two terms since coming to power in 2009.

Besides his controversial relationship with the Guptas, who were born in India but moved to South Africa in the early 1990s, Zuma has 783 counts of corruption outstanding against him relating to a 2.5 billion dollars state arms deal in the late 1990s.

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