The African National Congress (ANC) on Tuesday, ordered South Africa President, Jacob Zuma to step down after he refused plea to resign voluntarily. By evening, Zuma, 75, agreed to resign but proposed he would be given three to six months to step down and made some demands to ensure his safety.
He asked that the state guarantees his safety and that of his family, his security detail remains in place‚ and his legal fees for current and future court matters be paid for by the people of South Africa.
However it has been reported that ANC has given Zuma until today, to resign or face being removed by the parliament on Thursday where a vote of no confidence would be held against him.
Looking at these demands, one would wonder if Zuma really has the interests of South Africans at heart after all the scandals. Yielding to Zuma’s demands would place a lot of financial burden on the government because Taxpayers monies that are meant for economic development would be spent on Jacob Zuma who put the country in a terrible mess.
According to Sunday Times, Democratic Alliance (DA) federal council chairperson James Selfe pointed out that Zuma’s Spy Tapes case alone was estimated to have cost R30-million or more in legal fees.
“It is unthinkable that Zuma would demand a continuation of his security detail and state-funded legal fees. If Zuma wants maximum security‚ he can take up residence at a state-funded prison‚” Selfe said further.
Zuma has been receiving a lot of backlash to step down as the president of the country but he seems to be adamant. If Zuma doesn’t step down and the vote of no confidence is held against him on Thursday the Deputy President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa would assume the position of the president pending the next election. If the parliamentary action doesn’t work he would be taken to court for legal actions to be taken against him. This could be worse than stepping down because there would be a lot witnesses against him inspite of having evidences on his various scandals.
The foundation of the former president, Thabo Mbeki Foundation has also welcomed the ANC’s decision to recall President Jacob Zuma and says the decision is long overdue. The foundation also said many South Africans have been calling for the removal of President Zuma especially when the news of his alleged corruption scandal broke.
It would also be recalled that in 2008 the ANC recalled then- president Thabo Mbeki over allegations of abuse of power and Thabo Mbeki willingly gave power to Zuma. This has been seen by a few people as a party style which also affected them during election. In local polls in 2016, the ANC recorded its worst electoral result since coming to power with Nelson Mandela at the helm in 1994 when white-minority rule fell.
Apart from the party being affected by his exit, a number of ministers whose appointments by Jacob Zuma have been questioned, might also be hit. According to the South African, it would be a nervous time for Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Van Rooye; Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini; Minister of Communications, Faith Muthambi ; Minister of Energy, David Mahlobo and Finance Minister, Malusi Gigaba.
Surprisingly, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba speaking to CNN said he expects Zuma to do the right thing and step down to allow a party president Cyril Ramaphosa take over as head of state.
“Particularly because they’re going to bring about the much required political certainty and policy certainty that we need in order to get South African economy growing beyond the levels that keeps growing at the present moment,” said Malusi Gigba.
The uncertainty of when he is going to step down is really a huge concern for South Africa and the international community. Thankfully the South African economy has not been under performing since the beginning of the anticipated resignation of president Jacob Zuma. The political drama has been received with heightened optimism. As of yesterday the Rand remained stable against other international currencies.