Thursday, 24 May, 2018

President Jacob Zuma 'agrees to go'

Everyone Relax — Zuma's Cabinet Meeting Is 'Not Out Of The Ordinary' Zuma must go, says Nelson Mandela Foundation
| 08 February, 2018, 01:05

The African National Congress's new leader, Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday hinted at the departure of President Jacob Zuma from the South African presidency, which he implied could happen within days.Ramaphosa said his talks with the embattled Zuma on Tuesday evening were cordial, as the two men continue to map out a way out of a looming power crisis.

More information about Zuma's status as president will be available once "all pertinent matters" have been finalized, said Ramaphosa, who took over from his boss as party leader in December and has since delivered strong anti-corruption messages.

The president, in power since 2009, is due to make a state of the nation address on Thursday, and some in the party want Mr Zuma to leave office ahead of that speech.

Zuma changed his cabinet again in March to get replace Pravin Gordhan as finance minister, a move that led ratings companies to cut the nation's credit assessment to junk.

"Unfortunately the reality caught up with them, so now the ANC is trying to take control", he said.

A "dominant view" emerged from the meeting, but it "wasn't the only view", ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte said at a media briefing.

While journalists set up camp under a tree opposite the entrance to the National Assembly on Wednesday morning, Speaker Baleka Mbete was inside the building with party chief whips for a special chief whips' forum meeting.


Mr Zuma, who spent time in prison for his part in the fight against apartheid, met the ANC's top six on Sunday.

The delay heightened speculation that Mr Zuma could finally yield to calls to step down.

His presidency has been dominated by an economic slowdown, record unemployment and allegations of corruption. A series of leaked emails previous year suggested the Gupta family, who are friends of Zuma and in business with his son, had advance knowledge of Nene's firing and influenced other cabinet appointments. In South Africa, it has become known as "state capture". Zuma and the Guptas deny any wrongdoing, though the president paid back some money for the home upgrades after the Constitutional Court ruled against him.

The president asked to postpone it, apparently fearing his continuing hold on the presidency would enrage some of his own ANC lawmakers as well as opposition parties.

Under Zuma's leadership, the economy has weakened and the ANC has performed poorly in elections, losing control of several major cities to the opposition Democratic Alliance.

On Monday, there were scuffles out the ANC headquarters between small groups of pro- and anti-Zuma supporters.

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