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Chief Bakes

BBC: South Africa: ANC decides Zuma must go 'urgently'

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Chief Bakes

South Africa: ANC leaders expected to ask President Zuma to resign

  • 12 February 2018
Supporters of ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa chant slogans outside party headquarter in Johannesburg, on February 5, 2018Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Many in the ANC hope that removing Mr Zuma will boost the party's chances in the 2019 elections

Leaders of South Africa's governing ANC party are meeting to decide the future of President Jacob Zuma.

The National Executive Committee (NEC) is likely to ask him to step down, says BBC Africa correspondent Andrew Harding.

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa acknowledged on Sunday that the issue was causing "disunity and discord".

Mr Zuma, 75, faces a number of corruption charges after nine years in power.

There are more than a hundred members of the NEC, and many may want to share their views during the meeting in Pretoria - meaning it could be some hours before a decision is made.

What did Mr Ramaphosa say?

"We know you want closure," Mr Ramaphosa told a crowd, which had gathered to mark 100 years since the birth of the country's first black president, Nelson Mandela.

He told the crowd in Cape Town on Sunday that "our people want this matter to be finalised" and that the African National Congress (ANC) would comply.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Cyril Ramaphosa speaking in front of a portrait of Nelson Mandela on Sunday

He acknowledged the ANC was suffering "a period of difficulty, disunity and discord", and said he wanted to replace it with "a new beginning".

He pledged to tackle the corruption that has marred Mr Zuma's time in office.

Mr Ramaphosa urged South Africans to restore the values that Mr Mandela - also known as Madiba - stood for, and said those who had stolen state assets would be brought to justice.

"We must work together as Madiba taught us to push back the frontiers of poverty, unemployment and inequality," he said.

An NEC meeting was called off last week following direct talks between Mr Zuma and Mr Ramaphosa, who is the deputy president as well as the new leader of the party.

Mr Zuma has resisted increasing pressure to quit since December, when Mr Ramaphosa replaced him as leader of the ANC.

What has Mr Zuma done wrong?

Mr Zuma's presidency has been overshadowed by allegations of corruption.

p05r7jlm.jpg
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionThe Zuma presidency: Scandals and successes

In recent years his links to the wealthy India-born Gupta family, who are alleged to have influenced the government, have caused his popularity to plummet.

Both Mr Zuma and the Guptas deny the allegations.


Why hasn't the ANC sacked him before?

By Lebo Diseko, BBC News, Johannesburg

It is worth noting that Mr Zuma has not actually been found guilty of any of the accusations against him.

The allegations that there is a corrupt relationship between Mr Zuma and the Gupta family are just that, allegations. And 18 corruption charges, stemming from a 1990s arms deal, were dropped before he became president and have not been reinstated.

On top of this, Mr Zuma is still very popular, particularly in rural areas and his home region of KwaZulu-Natal.

Mr Ramaphosa may want to make sure Mr Zuma's supporters do not feel he has been treated badly - especially as an election is coming up next year.


What happens next?

Correspondents say that if the NEC agreed to recall Mr Zuma, it would be very difficult for him to resist.

But he is not legally obliged to step down if they ask him to.

If he so wishes, Mr Zuma could carry on as president of South Africa even if the NEC asked him to step down.

However, he would then be expected to face a confidence vote in parliament. The date for this has already been set - 22 February.

Mr Zuma has survived other such votes, but he would not be expected to pull it off again. A confidence vote would be considered a humiliating process for him and the party.

South African media is calling President Zuma's seemingly inevitable exit "Zexit".

South Africa's previous president, Thabo Mbeki, resigned in 2008. He also had a power struggle with his deputy.

The deputy in question was Jacob Zuma, who took over the presidency the following year.

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South Africa: ANC 'decides Zuma must go'

  • 13 February 2018
South AfricaImage copyright AFP
Image caption President Zuma's time in office has been overshadowed by corruption allegations

South Africa's ruling ANC party will formally request that President Jacob Zuma step down after he refused to resign, media reports say.

The reported decision to "recall" Mr Zuma followed marathon talks by senior party officials that continued into the early hours of Tuesday.

If Mr Zuma, 75, still does not budge, he will face a vote of confidence in parliament that he is expected to lose.

He has been leader since 2009 but has been dogged by corruption allegations.

The ANC has not officially confirmed its plans, but party sources have described them to South African media outlets and Reuters news agency.

Mr Zuma has resisted increasing pressure to quit since December, when Cyril Ramaphosa replaced him as leader of the ANC.

It is unclear how Mr Zuma will respond to the formal request to step down, which is expected to be issued later on Tuesday.

Earlier, Mr Ramaphosa left the meeting of the ANC's national executive committee to travel to Mr Zuma's residence, where he is said to have told the president he would be recalled if he did not step down. He later returned to the ANC conclave.

What has Mr Zuma done wrong?

Mr Zuma's presidency has been overshadowed by allegations of corruption which he has always vehemently denied.

p05r7jlm.jpg
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionThe Zuma presidency: Scandals and successes

In 2016, South Africa's highest court ruled that Mr Zuma had violated the constitution when he failed to repay government money spent on his private home.

Last 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.

More recently, Mr Zuma's links to the wealthy India-born Gupta family, who are alleged to have influenced the government, have caused his popularity to plummet.

Both Mr Zuma and the Guptas deny the allegations.

What could happen now?

Correspondents say it will be very difficult for him to resist a formal request to resign - known as a "recall".

But Mr Zuma would not be legally obliged to step down and he could technically carry on as president of South Africa despite losing the faith of his party.

However, he would then be expected to face a confidence vote in parliament. The date for this has already been set - 22 February.

Mr Zuma has survived other such votes, but he would not be expected to pull it off again. A confidence vote would be considered a humiliating process for him and the party.

South African media is calling President Zuma's seemingly inevitable exit "Zexit".

South Africa's previous president, Thabo Mbeki, resigned in 2008. He also had a power struggle with his deputy.

The deputy in question was Jacob Zuma, who took over the presidency the following year.

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South Africa: ANC decides Zuma must go 'urgently'

  • 13 February 2018
South African president, Jacob Zuma, arrives for the formal opening of parliament in Cape Town in 2015Image copyright AFP
Image caption Jacob Zuma has been president of South Africa since 2009

South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) has formally asked President Jacob Zuma to resign "for the sake of the country".

But despite the ANC's top leadership deciding to "recall" him "urgently", the scandal-hit Mr Zuma was still in power on Tuesday.

He is expected to respond to the request on Wednesday, an official said.

He had already told them he was willing to stand down in the next three to six months, the official added.

Mr Zuma, who has been in power since 2009, has been dogged by corruption allegations.

But he has so far resisted increasing pressure to quit since December, when Cyril Ramaphosa replaced him as leader of the ANC.

Ace Magashule, the ANC's secretary-general, told reporters the party's National Executive Committee (NEC) decided the removal should be "treated with urgency".

"The NEC has noted South Africa is going through a period of uncertainty and anxiety as a result of unresolved matter of transition," he said.

Mr Magashule said the country needed to build on the feeling of "renewed hope" felt after the election of Mr Ramaphosa as ANC leader.

"It is obvious we want Comrade Ramaphosa to come in as the president of South Africa," he added.

He said the president was expected to respond to the NEC's decision on Wednesday, although they had given him no deadline.

What has Mr Zuma done wrong?

Mr Zuma's presidency has been overshadowed by allegations of corruption which he has always vehemently denied.

In 2016, South Africa's highest court ruled that Mr Zuma had violated the constitution when he failed to repay government money spent on his private home.

Last 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.

p05r7jlm.jpg
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionThe Zuma presidency: Scandals and successes

More recently, Mr Zuma's links to the wealthy India-born Gupta family, who are alleged to have influenced the government, have caused his popularity to plummet.

Both Mr Zuma and the Guptas deny the allegations.

How likely is Mr Zuma to quit?

The formal request to resign is difficult to resist, but he is not legally obliged to do so and could technically carry on as president despite losing the support of his party.

However, should he continue to defy his party, he would be expected to face a confidence vote in parliament. This has been scheduled for 22 February, but it could be held earlier.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Many in the ANC hope that removing Mr Zuma will boost the party's chances in the 2019 elections

Mr Zuma has survived other such votes but he is not expected to pull it off again. A confidence vote would be considered a humiliating process for him and the party.

South African media are calling President Zuma's seemingly inevitable exit "Zexit".

His predecessor, Thabo Mbeki, resigned in 2008, also after a power struggle with his deputy.

The deputy in question was Jacob Zuma, who took over the presidency the following year.

Why is this happening now?

The ANC was badly rattled by its performance at the 2016 local elections when it won its lowest share of the vote since coming to power under the late Nelson Mandela in 1994.

It wants to project a fresh image for next year's general election. Having served two terms in office (South African presidents are elected by parliament), Mr Zuma cannot legally return to power in any case.

On Monday, opposition parties called for an early election.

"Anyone from the ANC that wants to lead this country, must get their mandate from the people of South Africa," Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane told reporters.

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South Africa Zuma: Gupta family home raided by police

  • 14 February 2018
Members of the Hawks special police unit stand guard outside Gupta homeImage copyright EPA
Image caption The family's walled Johannesburg compound was subject to an early morning search by elite police

South Africa's elite police unit have raided the home of the controversial Gupta family as the investigation into so-called state capture continues.

Three people have been arrested so far, including one of the brothers, with two other people expected to hand themselves in, police said in a statement.

The Gupta family have been accused using their friendship with President Jacob Zuma to wield enormous political influence for their business interests.

They all deny the allegations.

The raid comes as Mr Zuma faces increased pressure to resign, in part because of links to the Guptas.

He is expected to respond later today to a formal request from the African National Congress (ANC) to step down.

The Hawks, South Africa's priority crime unit, confirmed they were searching the Gupta's walled compound near Johannesburg zoo on Wednesday morning.

They have also carried out raids on other properties.

According to the statement released to South African media, the raids were carried out in connection with the Vrede farm investigation.

That particular investigation relates to the Estina dairy farm near Vrede, in the Free State, a project which was originally meant to help poor black farmers but from which the Gupta family are alleged to have pocketed millions of dollars.

Why is President Zuma under pressure?

The scandal-hit leader has been in power since 2009, but has been dogged by corruption allegations.

Mr Zuma was replaced as the party's leader in December by his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, but has so far resisted calls to resign.

An official has said the 75-year-old was willing to stand down in the next three to six months, but top leadership want him to withdraw from power immediately.

Who are the Gupta family?

The embattled Gupta family own a range of business interests in South Africa, including computing, mining, air travel, energy, technology and media.

The three brothers, Atul, Rajesh and Ajay, moved to the country in 1993 from India, just as white-minority rule was ending.

They are known friends of President Zuma - and his son, daughter and one of the president's wives worked for the family's firms.

The brothers have been accused of wielding enormous political influence in South Africa, with critics alleging that they have tried to "capture the state" to advance their own business interests.

What is the scandal between the family and the president?

Former Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas made a public allegation in 2016 that he was offered 600m Rand ($50m; £36m) by the Gupta family to be the next finance minister - as long as he did their bidding.

Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption Anti "Zupta" protestors pictured gathered outside the family's compound in April 2017

It was followed by a damning report by a South African government ombudsman that accused the Guptas and President Zuma of colluding to win government contracts.

The public backlash worsened in 2017 when more than 100,000 emails were leaked which appeared to show the extent the family had exerted their influence.

It suggested a complex web of government contracts, as well as alleged kickbacks and money laundering.

It prompted marches and public protests against the family and President Zuma, dubbed the "Zuptas".

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South Africa's Zuma: I've done nothing wrong

  • 14 February 2018
Jacob Zuma arrives for a press conference - March 2010Image copyright AFP/Getty Images

South Africa's scandal-hit President Jacob Zuma says he has done nothing wrong - and sees no reason to stand down immediately.

Mr Zuma spoke after the ruling African National Congress (ANC) announced it would back a vote of no confidence in his leadership on Thursday.

The 75-year-old has come under increasing pressure to resign amid numerous allegations of corruption.

But he said the ANC had failed to explain why he had been recalled.

"It was very unfair to me that this issue is raised," he told the national broadcaster SABC during a lengthy unannounced interview. "They did not provide me with reasons."

Mr Zuma said he had offered to go in June, but objected to the way the issue was currently being handled.

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South Africa's President Jacob Zuma resigns

  • 14 February 2018
President of South Africa Jacob Zuma addresses the nation at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on February 14, 2018.Image copyright AFP
Image caption Jacob Zuma has been president of South Africa since 2009

South Africa's embattled President Jacob Zuma has resigned his office with immediate effect.

He made the announcement in a televised address to the nation on Wednesday evening.

Earlier, Mr Zuma's governing ANC party told him to resign or face a vote of no confidence in parliament on Thursday.

The 75-year-old has been under increasing pressure to give way to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, the ANC's new leader.

Mr Zuma, who has been in power since 2009, faces numerous allegations of corruption.

His resignation came at the end of a long speech in which he said he disagreed with the way the ANC had acted towards him.

He said he did not fear a motion of no-confidence, adding: "I have served the people of South Africa to the best of my ability."

The ANC issued a statement saying Mr Zuma's resignation provided "certainty to the people of South Africa".

Mr Zuma, a former member of the ANC's military wing in the days of apartheid, rose through the ranks of the party to become president. He led the country for more than a third of its time after apartheid.

But he leaves office with several scandals hanging over him, and with South Africa's economy in dire straits.

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