S. Africa’s Zuma may face no-con­fi­dence vote

New Straits Times - - WORLD -

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.

Ja­cob Zuma

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