Millennium Post

The "Teflon" President!

The Teflon President!
The time for South African President, Jacob Zuma, to leave is here. After a 14-hour emergency meeting of the African National Congress (ANC) that had been necessitated by his reluctance to leave, it has been decided that he will be recalled. Technically, this means that ANC has withdrawn support to Zuma and formality demands he ought to hand in his papers within a day. Constitutionally, his term ends only in 2019, but with hundreds of grave corruption charges having mounted against him, his nine years at the top is all but over. His conditions for immunity, security, transition period et all have been heard—but his successor Cyril Ramaphosa is in no mood to compromise with corruption of any kind. South Africa is, naturally, plunged into political turmoil with the 75-year-old veteran's refusal to go. Indeed, the decision by the ANC, the party once led by Nelson Mandela, to announce the "recall" of Zuma was the culmination of a marathon meeting that stretched like never before. Top ANC officials have admitted they had no idea whether Zuma would bow to their recall demand or cling on to power and face a vote of no confidence in the Parliament organised by the opposition parties. ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule said that Zuma had agreed to stand down but only if he could oversee a transition period of three to six months. The ANC top brass rejected his offer. "If he refuses to quit, the ANC will be forced into the ignominious choice of siding with the opposition in a vote of no confidence in the Parliament, or put forward a motion of its own. True, the president's term of office lasts until next year and only the Parliament can remove him before then. A confidence vote is scheduled for February 22, but opposition politicians have launched a court action to force and bring forward the vote to this week. The political crisis is a headache for the ANC, which has been trying to prise Zuma out for months. It dumped him as party leader in December, narrowly electing Ramaphosa, a millionaire former union leader, over Zuma's preferred successor, his ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Despite a growing clamour from opposition parties and signs that the ANC is losing electoral support over the protracted drama, divisions within the ANC have forced Ramaphosa to tread cautiously. For years, the ANC has put party unity first, even as it became apparent that Zuma was an electoral liability. His ability to survive them earned him the nickname "Teflon President." Zuma faces more than 780 allegations of corruption relating, particularly, to a 1990s arms deal. Naturally, he denies them all.
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