ibusinesslines.com September 24, 2017

South Africa Court to Decide on Secret No-Confidence Ballot on Zuma

20 April 2017, 07:07 | Erica Roy

South Africa Court to Decide on Secret No-Confidence Ballot on Zuma

President Jacob Zuma and his wife Thobeka Mandela Zuma greet supporters at his 75th birthday celebration in Soweto

South African President Jacob Zuma on Monday described last week's protests demanding that he resign as racist, as he fought back against the criticism that has threatened to split the ruling ANC party.

Opposition parties, including the centrist Democratic Alliance and left-wing Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), have united around a common motto: Zuma Must Fall.

As people were protesting in Pretoria and shouting to remove the president, Jacob Zuma was encircled by his followers as he celebrated his 75 birthday in Soweto.

Patricia Maguire, a white 40-year-old risk analyst on her way to the march who also took part in Friday's protest in Pretoria, held a sign saying: "Recall The Wrecking Ball", referring to Zuma.

"Let the message be clear today that Zuma is no longer a credible president of South Africa", Said the leader of the EFF, Julius Malema.

Key Zuma allies, including the South African Communist Party and COSATU, the country biggest labor group, have joined calls for his resignation.

Zuma also said that the late former president Nelson Mandela once called the opposition "Mickey Mouse parties" because they attack the ANC.

In fact, Zuma's power grab is a mistake that could be fateful to South Africa.

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said last week that no ANC member would vote against Zuma in the no-confidence vote.

His decision was swiftly followed by two credit ratings agencies downgrading South Africa to junk status. The party is accused of shielding corrupt leaders and being divided along factions. Zuma, who is in his second five-year term after becoming president in 2009, has become a flashpoint for concerns about government corruption and mismanagement in one of Africa's most powerful economies.

The ouster of Gordhan may allow Zuma to consolidate control of his control over the ANC before its congress.

On the other hand all opposition parties have vowed to vote in favour of the motion and appealed to the ANC to do the same, as the party has the majority vote in Parliament.

The South African parliament will debate a motion of no confidence against Zuma next Tuesday.

The EFF's Julius Malema said South Africa can not be defeated by what he called an "illiterate president".

No less damaging, President Zuma's critics say, has been the impact of his track record on the country's external image, both inside and outside the continent.

The opposition parties didn't vote for the ANC in 2014, but it still won the elections with more than 11 million voters, Zuma said.

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