South Africa’s pres­i­dent Zuma hangs on – for now

The Week Middle East - - News -

South Africa’s politi­cians have blown their best chance yet to get rid of the coun­try’s cor­rupt pres­i­dent, Ja­cob Zuma, said Tom Eaton in Times Live (Johannesburg). It has of­ten been said that there are many “good, pro­gres­sive” MPs in the rul­ing African Na­tional Congress who would have turned against him long ago, were it not for threats of ret­ri­bu­tion by his venge­ful sup­port­ers – which was why seven pre­vi­ous at­tempts to oust him had failed. But last week par­lia­ment sched­uled yet another no-con­fi­dence mo­tion, this time by se­cret bal­lot, so that dis­af­fected MPs would run lit­tle risk by vot­ing against him. Alas, it seems that only about 34 of them “have a con­science”: as a re­sult, Zuma sur­vived the vote, by 198 to 177. One can only spec­u­late how many “pieces of sil­ver” the “sell-outs” de­manded for their con­tin­ued sup­port. It con­firms what we al­ways sus­pected – that most ANC MPs are “hol­lowed-out bootlick­ers, kow­tow­ing be­fore their king”. The move­ment against Zuma gath­ered pace again in March, when he re­placed the in­de­pen­dent-minded fi­nance min­is­ter Pravin Gord­han with a pli­ant crony, said the Daily Mav­er­ick (Johannesburg). The move was widely thought to have been at the be­hest of the three Gupta broth­ers, busi­ness ty­coons with great in­flu­ence over the pres­i­dent. In May, the ex­tent to which the Gup­tas had “cap­tured the state” was laid bare by leaked emails, de­tail­ing the huge kick­backs they have col­lected from for­eign com­pa­nies by us­ing their in­flu­ence to ar­range lu­cra­tive gov­ern­ment con­tracts. This “messy” vic­tory was prob­a­bly prefer­able for the coun­try than an out­right defeat, said Daryl Glaser on the Huff­in­g­ton Post. Had he been ousted, Zuma’s many sup­port­ers in KwaZulu-Natal prov­ince and ru­ral ar­eas would have come out on the streets. It’s also the best out­come for South Africa’s grow­ing op­po­si­tion. Re­plac­ing Zuma would have al­lowed the ANC to re­or­gan­ise in time for the 2019 elec­tions. With him still in charge, its sup­port will con­tinue to erode. In De­cem­ber, the ANC will choose its next leader, said James Macharia on Zuma is back­ing his ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, re­ly­ing on her pro­tec­tion to see him through his fi­nal term. But next month he faces an im­peach­ment chal­lenge in court. His vic­tory in par­lia­ment may be just a tem­po­rary re­prieve.

Zuma: sur­vived another no-con­fi­dence vote

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