Ja­cob Zuma re­buked by Man­dela’s char­ity

Foun­da­tion urges African Na­tional Congress to change its lead­er­ship

The Star (Kenya) - - News World -

REUTERS/ The foun­da­tion set up to guard the legacy of the late Nel­son Man­dela yes­ter­day blamed South Africa’s Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma for the “wheels com­ing off” Africa’s most in­dus­tri­alised na­tion and urged a change in po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship.

Since com­ing to power in 2009, Zuma has sur­vived a string of cor­rup­tion scan­dals al­most un­scathed. But South Africa has had to bear the cost of his antics as in­vestors worry about its po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity, busi­ness cli­mate and rule of law.

In a rare state­ment, the non-profit Nel­son Man­dela Foun­da­tion, whose board is made up of 10 prom­i­nent South African aca­demics, politi­cians and jour­nal­ists, urged Zuma’s African Na­tional Congress to change its lead­er­ship.

“We call on the gov­ern­ing party to take the steps nec­es­sary to en­sure the ve­hi­cle of state be pro­tected and placed in safe and ca­pa­ble hands,” it said, un­der a ti­tle that read: “Time to ac­count for crip­pling the state”. Zuma’s spokesman did not an­swer a phone call seek­ing com­ment.

The 74-year-old is fac­ing calls to quit from sev­eral ANC mem­bers since mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions in Au­gust, in which it suf­fered its worst losses since it took power when apartheid fell in 1994. The ANC’s top ech­e­lons have backed the Pres­i­dent.

Op­po­si­tion par­ties and civic groups plan to march in the cap­i­tal Pretoria to­day to de­mand, among other things, that he re­sign. But Zuma has shown no signs of step­ping down be­fore his sec­ond and fi­nal term as Pres­i­dent is up in 2019, de­spite be­ing rocked by cor­rup­tion scan­dals that saw him suf­fer both fi­nan­cial and po­lit­i­cal dam­age.

/REUTERS

Pretoria riot po­lice stand guard as stu­dents try to gain en­try to the Union build­ing, South African Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s of­fices, dur­ing a demon­stra­tion de­mand­ing free univer­sity ed­u­ca­tion on Oc­to­ber 20

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