Published: Wed, April 19, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Parliament to debate no-confidence motion against Zuma

The ANC leadership on Wednesday said it was backing Zuma, Secretary General Gwede Mantashe said. Zuma, Mbeki's rival, became president after 2009 elections.

Mantashe said the ANC accepted the "irretrievable breakdown of the relationship" between Zuma and Gordhan as sufficient reason for his departure, and has "full confidence in the newly appointed minister of finance".

As Ofeibea notes, "The 74-year-old president has managed to bounce back time and time again, but is certainly on the ropes". The move lead ratings agency Standard and Poor's (S&P) to downgrade the country's investment status to junk over concerns of political instability in the country.

Cosatu has endorsed deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa to take over as ANC president when Zuma's term comes to an end in December.

Calls for Zuma to step down have come from within the governing party, including from prominent stalwarts, the SACP and Cosatu, who had campaigned for Zuma's presidency.

South Africa's ruling party says it is concerned about reports of "sporadic violence and intimidation" ahead of planned protests against the scandal-tainted president on Friday.

Former President Kgalema Motlanthe also said that it was hard for Mr Zuma to command respect after the constitutional court found him in breach of the law when he failed to repay government money spent on his private home.

Mr Gordhan was dropped as part of a major cabinet reshuffle which left some in the ANC leadership questioning whether Mr Zuma should remain as president.

He reiterated the party's national working committee (NWC) statement on Wednesday that the ANC would not support the motion, set to be debated in the National Assembly on April 18. Similar bids have failed to muster the needed votes to oust Zuma in the past.

"[New Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba] will also be reaching out to the worldwide investor community urgently to assure them", he said as he unveiled a South African-made railway locomotive in Pretoria. "Quite frankly he still controls the decision-making organs of the ANC", he said.

In an affidavit, DA's federal executive chairperson, James Selfe, said the implications of Zuma's decision to fire Gordhan and Jonas were of an "extraordinarily serious and far-reaching nature".

The ANC formed the commission in 2013 to help protect its image and deal with members of the party alleged to have behaved improperly.

"There is now a strong impression that Malusi Gigaba is just Des Van Rooyen in a designer suit", it said, referring to a little-known MP who was named finance minister in 2015 and lasted just four days in the post.

Jonas was an outspoken critic of government corruption.

The calls being made online were for Jacob Zuma to step down.

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