Wednesday, 23 May, 2018

South Africa's ANC losing support amid Zuma uncertainty

Zuma woes: Unapologetic wife hits back Timeline: Opposition Grows as Zuma Remains in Office
Kenny Thornton | 12 February, 2018, 18:07

As the executive of the African National Congress (ANC) met in a hotel outside Pretoria, the stage seemed set for a decisive showdown between the 75-year-old leader's allies and those members backing a swift transfer of power to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Sunday's rally is part of ANC celebrations marking 100 years since Mandela's birth, when Ramaphosa will try to revive the party's tainted reputation ahead of next year's general election.

"We were saying to President Zuma on Sunday that we don't want two centres of power, we want president Ramaphosa to take control not only of the ANC, but also the affairs of the state".

Zuma, who has been implicated in a succession of scandals, was succeeded as leader of the ANC by his deputy Ramphosa in December and has faced mounting pressure to resign.

Parliament spokesman Moloto Mothapo has rejected the EFF's claims that national assembly speaker Baleka Mbete refused the party's request for a vote of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma to be brought forward.

Negotiations are underway between Mr Zuma and Mr Ramaphosa, as well as the ANC's "top six" leaders, in an attempt to reach an agreement that will see him willingly leave office.

"There can be no special deals for Zuma".

"It looks like we have to go to the streets because those with power don't know how to exercise it‚ no one can defeat the power of the masses".

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WHILEJacob Zuma's exit negotiations are now ongoing‚ political analyst Professor Somadoda Fikeni reckons the president may still be trying to obtain a settlement agreement that would suit his needs once he vacates the Union Buildings.

Ramaphosa has made no official comment since Wednesday when he pledged "a speedy resolution of the matter", while Zuma has not spoken since being asked to resign by senior ANC officials on Feb 4.

"I don't understand why the ANC's new leadership has not removed Zuma already because that is long overdue", he said at the rally.

ANC Gauteng spokesperson Motalatale Modiba said the provincial ANC reiterated its stance that the ANC NEC was able to resolve "the current leadership issue decisively in a manner that demonstrates that the ANC has put the interest of South Africa first".

"We have no other choice but to continue fighting corruption" Ramaphosa said.

South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that Mr Zuma must face 18 counts of corruption, fraud, racketeering and money laundering relating to the 1999 arms deal. As we go into the weekend, readers may find helpful a chronology of events to get a handle on the past week.

That drama is getting serious indeed, with reports of fistfights breaking out this week between the Zuma and Ramaphosa factions of the party. A court ruled a year ago that the decision to drop the case - on the eve of Mr Zuma's election as South African president in 2009 - was "irrational" and the charges should be reinstated.

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