South Africa’s president Zuma hangs on – for now
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 Reuters.com. 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