South African President Jacob Zuma remains in power, after having surprisingly survived a political coup that saw many of the members of the African N...
South African President Jacob Zuma remains in power, after having surprisingly survived a political coup that saw many of the members of the African National Congress (ANC) prepared to oust him from office.
The 74-year-old leader, who remains unpopular even among supporters of the ANC, was also asked to stepped down by some of his cabinet ministers — in an obvious act of defiance that is likely to continue in the months, or perhaps years, to come.
In a meeting held over the weekend, members of the ANC held a debate on whether or not Zuma should remain in office. The ‘robust’ debate has reportedly turned intensely heated that a fight nearly broke among members of the congress.
The meeting, which dragged on for another day, ended with the deciding executive members of the ANC voting to keep Zuma in office.
Members of the ANC held the meeting following a report submitted by the Public Protector implicating Zuma in alleged activities that involve corruption at the highest levels of the government.
Despite persistent scandals and numerous allegations of corruption, however, Zuma has somehow managed to keep the support of the majority of ANC executive members who hold the power to order his ouster.
The latest political coup is not the first that Zuma had to face as president of South Africa, having survived many similar mutiny in the past — earning him the nickname “Teflon President” in the process.
Secretary General for ANC Gwede Mantashe made a rare admission that the party is divided on Zuma’s ouster, and that some of its members have, in fact, called for the president to step down.
The Public Protector’s State of Capture report presents evidence and allegations of cronyism, where Zuma, his son, Duduzane Zuma, the Gupta family, who are influential businessmen in the country, and other high-ranking government officials were said to have been involved.
Members of the ANC have, however, “came to consensus that report is inconclusive,” Mantashe told reporters in an interview Tuesday.
“There are individuals who are implicated. Those individuals must go and review the report if they are not happy,” the ANC Secretary General added.
Members of the Democratic Alliance, which is the chief opposition party in the country, believe otherwise.
“Following the findings in this report, Jacob Zuma should do the (honorable) thing and resign.
“The Zuma presidency has been a blight on South Africa — only his resignation can help repair the damage he has caused,” Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane said in a statement.
Zuma, however, is unlikely to voluntarily step down from office anytime soon.