Corruption findings prompt another no confidence motion in Zuma

10 Nov 16

South African president Jacob Zuma is facing his second no confidence vote of the year after a report levelled further suspicions of corruption against him last week.


Jacob Zuma Shutterstock

Embattled South African president Jacob Zuma. Shutterstock


A debate on the vote will take place sometime in the next few hours, with the embattled president facing increasingly loud calls for his resignation.

In a statement, South Africa’s main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, which tabled the motion, said: “The choice between Jacob Zuma and South Africa is both simple and profound.

“President Zuma’s brand of corruption, economic mismanagement and lies can no longer continue to exist alongside the project of building a better South Africa for all.”

The release of last week’s long-awaited report from the public protector, the country’s anti-corruption chief, which Zuma had tried to block, instilled fresh life into a corruption scandal that broke earlier on this year surrounding Zuma’s alleged ties to a wealthy Indian family, the Guptas.

Public protector Thuli Mandonsela found “possible corruption” in the form of state capture, with the Guptas holding undue influence over government decisions such as ministerial appointments.

The report suggests, for example, that the Gupta family, primarily wealthy businessman Ajay Gupta, influenced Zuma’s decision to appoint former finance minister David van Rooyen.

The choice was a controversial one – so much so that it sent the country’s rand and stocks into a tailspin. Zuma was forced to replace van Rooyen with Pravin Gordhan, supposedly through gritted teeth, after four days.

Mandonsela said she was able to place van Rooyen in the Gupta family home on seven different occasions, including the day before his appointment.

Both the Gupta family and Zuma have denied any wrongdoing.

Zuma, the head of the African National Congress, has been regularly embroiled in scandals since 2005.

He has already survived one no confidence vote this year, related to alleged bribery in a multi-billion dollar arms deal negotiated over a decade ago.

At the same time, the opposition also appealed to court to review a decision to drop 738 corruption charges against the current president.

In a statement earlier this week, the ANC, said that the opposition had made motions of no-confidence an “annual and frivolous ritual” that were losing their meaning.

The motion will have “no prospect of succeeding”, it added.

But according to Al Jazeera, Zuma also faces calls to resign from within his own party.

A number of ANC veterans have signed a document expressing serious concerns about the state of the country.

South Africans who took to the streets in anger to demand Zuma’s resignation following the publication of the state capture report were met with water cannons, and the country’s once-strong economy has been hard hit by the loss of confidence resulting from the air of corruption surrounding its leader. 

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