ANC parliamentary caucus under way as the nation awaits Zuma's next move

Casey Dawson
February 14, 2018

"We have now asked the chief whip to proceed with the motion of no confidence tomorrow in that President Zuma is then removed", ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile told reporters Wednesday.

Previous year the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that he must face 18 counts of corruption, fraud, racketeering and money-laundering relating to a 1999 arms deal.

"South Africans are wiser now than yesterday, they will not fight for somebody to be in a chair, they are not benefiting because of one person being a president", he said.

"A disciplined cadre of the ANC, you are given a chance to resign on your own, but if you lack discipline you will resist", party chairman Gwede Mantashe said at a provincial rally, according to South African media.

But South Africa's opposition parties have already expressed reservations about Mr Magashule's confidence.

As NPR's Bill Chappell reported a year ago, Zuma has already survived numerous votes of confidence in South Africa's parliament.

NAN reports that the decision by the ANC national executive followed 13 hours of tense deliberations and one, short face-to-face exchange between Zuma and his presumed successor, deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa.

Both Zuma and the Guptas deny the accusations.

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It involved the president's allegedly corrupt relationship with a wealthy family of Indian immigrants headed by three brothers - Ajay, Atul and Rajesh Gupta - who built a business empire in mining, media, technology and engineering. If that happens, Ramaphosa would likely become South African president.

Disgraced by a series of corruption scandals, although he claims he has done no wrong, Zuma still retains support within the ruling party and the parliamentary vote could be tight.

South African President Jacob Zuma was replaced as African National Congress leader in December.

If Zuma refuses to step down and faces off against the ANC leadership in a vote of no confidence, he could lose any terms agreed upon.

An opposition-sponsored vote of no confidence against Zuma had been scheduled in parliament for February 22, but opposition parties wanted the event to be moved to this week.

South Africa's chief prosecutor is expected to make a decision on whether to prosecute Zuma on the old charges, which were reinstated previous year after being thrown out in 2009. The ANC once commanded moral stature as the party of Nelson Mandela, but corruption scandals linked to Zuma have cut into its popularity ahead of national elections in 2019.

An elite police unit entered the compound of the Gupta family, which has been accused of using its connections to the president to influence Cabinet appointments and win state contracts.

The country's top court also ruled in 2016 that the President had violated the constitution when he used state funds to pay for multi-million dollar upgrades to his private home.

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