S. Africa’s Zuma may face no-confidence vote
CAPE TOWN: South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) will support a motion of no-confidence brought by an opposition party against President Jacob Zuma today if he does not resign, its treasurer-general Paul Mashatile said yesterday.
The party’s chief whip, Jackson Mthembu, said ANC hoped to elect party leader Cyril Ramaphosa as president of the country today, after the no-confidence vote, or tomorrow.
Zuma was under intense pressure to resign yesterday as police raided the Johannesburg home of a business family accused of overseeing government corruption under his rule.
Zuma was expected to respond to ANC’s order for him to resign, hours after police arrived yesterday at the Gupta family’s heavily protected house in the upmarket suburb of Saxonwold.
“We have now left the compound. It is an operation that is ongoing, related to issues of ‘state capture’,” police spokesman Hangwani Mulaudzi said, referring to alleged corruption in state institutions.
Police said three people were arrested in investigations into “Vrede Farm” over allegations that millions of dollars of public money meant for poor dairy farmers was syphoned off by the Guptas.
Zuma “agreed in principle to resign”, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule said on Tuesday.
The power struggle over Zuma’s departure put him at loggerheads with deputy president Ramaphosa, his expected successor, who is the new ANC head.
Many graft allegations against Zuma have centred on the wealthy Gupta family, who are accused of unfairly obtaining lucrative government contracts and even being able to choose Zuma’s ministerial appointments.
Zuma admitted he was friends with the three Gupta brothers, originally from India, but denied any wrongdoing.
The political wrangle plunged South Africa, the continent’s most developed economy, into confusion over who was running the country.
Opposition parties called for early elections as ANC’s turbulent transfer of power to Ramaphosa continued.
Zuma’s presidency has been marred by slow economic growth, racial inequality and record unemployment.
He was scheduled to stand down next year after serving the maximum two terms since coming to power in 2009.