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Lemonde.fr: South Africa: President Zuma refuses to resign, finds the situation "unfair"

Posted by: Berhane Habtemariam

Date: Wednesday, 14 February 2018

South Africa: President Zuma refuses to resign, finds the situation "unfair"

The president's party, the ANC, announced Wednesday that a motion of no confidence will be debated on Thursday, if Zuma does not resign by then.

ANC press conference, February 14, in Cape Town.

While his party, the African National Congress (ANC), is seeking to push him to the exit, South Africa's president , Jacob Zuma, spoke on Wednesday (February 14th), considering the resignation request against him. "Very unfair" . Mr. Zuma, who spoke at a live interview on SABC public television, also regretted that "this topic is constantly raised" and added:

"I did not do anything wrong (...), I disagree with the decision [of the ANC]. If Parliament says it does not want me, I will leave. "

The South African president has promised to make a statement during the day.

 

Shortly before his intervention, as noted on his Twitter account the correspondent of the World in South Africa, Jean-Philippe Remy, the ANC announced that a motion of no confidence would be debated Thursday in Parliament if Mr. Zuma had not handed over by that date his resignation, as ordered . "We proceed with the motion of no confidence tomorrow [Thursday] for President Jacob Zuma to be removed from office and we can elect" the current head of the ANC, Cyril Ramaphosa, to the post of President of the Republic, has declared the party's general treasurer, Paul Mashatile, at a press conference in Cape Town.

The executive council of the ANC agreed on Monday night to "call back" the head of state, who, like any member of the party, is "deployed" in a position. He must still accept the decision. The ANC did not, however, give Mr. Zuma a deadline to comply . Party secretary Ace Magashule said he was "sure" that Zuma would vote on Wednesday.

Arrests of relatives of Zuma

Meanwhile, the South African police elite , the Hawks, conducted an operation at the Gupta Gupta family home in Johannesburg on Wednesday and arrested three people in a hijacking investigation. of funds and influence peddling at the head of the state.

Shortly before eight o'clock on Wednesday, a big black engine with tinted windows left the imposing Gupta property located in the luxurious Saxonwold district, escorted by several police vehicles. "Three people have been arrested and two other suspects have to surrender to the Hawks," the police said in a statement, without giving names.

The "operation is linked" to the scandal of "state capture" , the name given to political-financial affairs involving President Jacob Zuma, told Agence France -Presse Hangwani Mulaudzi, spokesman for the police . And especially to a case in which the Gupta are suspected of fraudulently receiving public funds paid by the province of the Free State ( center ) for a dairy project , said the Hawks.

South African policemen outside the home of the Gupta family in Johannesburg on 14 February.

Political crisis

South Africa is currently immersed in a crisis policy caused by the refusal of President Zuma to leave the power . The head of state is splashed by several scandals that taint the reputation of his party, the African National Congress (ANC), in power since 1994.

According to a report by the mediator of the Republic published in 2016, the three Gupta brothers are involved in the management of the affairs of the South African state, from the appointment of ministers to pressure to obtain lucrative public contracts. Their ownership of Saxonwold has become a kind of dual presidency, where brothers of Indian origin have offered ministerial positions to ANC officials, according to several testimonies collected by the mediator. Mr. Zuma, whose son Duduzane also appears at the heart of these cases, admitted to maintain friendly relations with the Gupta but denied their influence in the affairs of state.

The pressure on the Gupta and Jacob Zuma brothers has increased since the head of state gave in December, the leadership of his party to the current vice president of the country, Cyril Ramaphosa, who made the fight against corruption a priority. According to the local press, 220 million rand (15 million euros) were diverted to the benefit of the siblings.

 
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