Jacob Zuma rebuked by Mandela’s charity
Foundation urges African National Congress to change its leadership
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.
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