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Mixed reactions to recall of South African President Jacob Zuma

JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) -- South African experts expressed mixed reactions to the recall of President Jacob Zuma by his party, the African National Congress (ANC).

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule told the media on Tuesday afternoon that the ruling party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) resolved to recall Zuma and that Zuma has been given until Wednesday to respond.

"The NEC decided to recall its deployee, comrade Jacob Zuma ...

"The decision to recall Jacob Zuma is final.

"That decision can’t change," Magashule said.

Goolam Ballim, Standard Bank’s chief economist, said Zuma’s recall would be good for the ANC and the country.

"The market has cheered at this prospect in reality, whether it is justified or not is somewhat academic," he said.

"The reality is that the markets are celebrating the potential for a new regime and a new epoch of an assault on corruption, better predictability," said Ballim.

Ballim said Cyril Ramaphosa’s election as the ANC president brought in some optimism and hope.

He said that Ramaphosa’s elevation to the president of the country would ignite more hope for South Africa.

Another analyst, Sipho Seepe, told Xinhua that the ANC needs to sort its internal pressure and renew itself. Seepe said Zuma has been sacrificed for the problems facing the party.

"The ANC has gone through a difficult period.

"It has to find a way of renewing itself.

"President Zuma has since been treated as a scapegoat," Seepe said.

"The very new leadership that calls for his removal is the same lot that defended him in the last nine years," he added.

Shepherd Mpofu, a research fellow at University of Johannesburg, said the recall is an advantage to the party and improves the chances of winning elections.

"Zuma has been unloved by the markets and we are likely going to see the rand firm," Mpofu said, referring to the country’s local currency.

"Zuma’s recall definitely improves the ANC’s image towards the 2019 election," he added.

South Africa is scheduled to hold presidential and parliamentary elections in 2019.

The ruling ANC performed poorly in local government elections in 2016.

Some organizations, including the Thabo Mbeki Foundation, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), and the South African Communist Party (SACP), welcomed Zuma’s recall.

"It has been obvious for many years that the interests of our country would be best served if indeed Mr. Zuma ceased to be president of the Republic," the Mbeki Foundation said in a statement.

"As a disciplined and loyal cadre of the ANC and out of respect for the constitution of the country, Mr. Zuma must communicate with the speaker of the House of Assembly to tender his resignation as the president of the republic."

The recall would give the ruling party chance to attend to many challenges and negative developments which have arisen during the years of Zuma’s presidency, the statement said.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions said if Zuma does not agree to being recalled, the ruling party should follow the parliamentary process of a motion of no confidence.

The South African Communist Party said recalling Zuma would enable the ANC to address challenges facing the country.

"The decision should pave the way to a deep-going, decisive self-correction and greater ANC and Alliance unity to revitalize democratic support from lost ground towards greater heights," the SACP said in a statement, referring to a tripartite alliance grouping the ANC, the SACP, and COSATU.


Zuma’s political future not to affect BRICS Summit, say experts

JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) -- The potential dimission of the South African president is unlikely to impact the 10th BRICS Summit scheduled for July, said experts.

The 10th BRICS Summit is the 10th annual diplomatic meeting of the BRICS, a grouping of major emerging economies that includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

South Africa’s ruling party African National Congress (ANC) on Tuesday ordered President Jacob Zuma to step down as the state head after marathon talks over the fate of the leader.

The potential dimission of the president, according to experts, will not impede the 10th BRICS Summit to be held in July in South Africa, which takes over the rotating chairmanship of BRICS this year.

"The Zuma exit (Zexit) will not affect the BRICS summit.

"A new South Africa president will convene the summit and the programs will continue," Gwinyai Dzinesa, a researcher at Centre for Conflict Resolution based in Capetown, South Africa, told Xinhua on Tuesday.

The summit scheduled for July 25-27 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg will see South Africa push forward the programs of development and prosperity for partner countries.

Zuma had earlier requested a three-month "notice period" before he submits his unconditional resignation, ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule told the local media on Tuesday.

This proposal was put to the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) on Monday, as it discussed Zuma’s recall from office, but was shot down by the committee.

Zuma has reportedly told Cyril Ramaphosa, the leader of the ANC, that he will use the three months to "introduce him" to international bodies such as the African Union, the United Nations and BRICS.

South Africa will not allow the summit to abort, said Ngqabutho Nicholas Mabhena, a political commentator at the Zimbabwe Communist Party.

"The BRICS mechanism has strengthened cooperation for institutional development, which saw the creation of the New Development Bank (NDB) and the recently launched Africa Regional Centre in Johannesburg," Mabhena added.

He also said South Africa is willing to see BRICS countries help each other with inclusive economic growth, value-added multilateral trade and investment in productive sectors.

Since South Africa joined the BRICS in 2011, the country has scored major achievements, such as the mentioned NDB.

Gerry Thomas, the chief executive officer of Krispy Kreme, a famous South African food producer, said in an interview that the summit is important and "its organization will be an important milestone towards building stronger solidarity and cooperation among the emerging markets."

Magashule also said on Tuesday that Zuma has not been given a deadline to resign but is expected to respond to the recall on Wednesday.

As uncertainty over Zuma’s future continues, the South African government has postponed a cabinet meeting scheduled for Wednesday.

South African President Zuma faces recall

JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) -- South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), on Tuesday confirmed that it will recall South African President Jacob Zuma.

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule said this when briefing the media in Johannesburg about the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting on Monday night. He said the NEC resolved to recall Zuma and will brief Parliament caucus on Wednesday.

The party has been negotiating with Zuma to relinquish his post for some weeks. Zuma has been given until Wednesday to respond to the recall by his party.

The decision to recall Zuma was taken by the NEC of the ANC which is the highest decision making body outside congress, according to Magashule.

"The NEC decided to recall its deployee, comrade Jacob Zuma ...

"The decision to recall Jacob Zuma is final.

"That decision can’t change.

"We are going to treat him with respect as one of the ANC leaders who contributed in the fights against Apartheid," said Magashule.

According to him, President Jacob Zuma agreed in principle to resign and proposed a notice period of 3 to 6 months.

Magashule said that Zuma had stated that he accepts what the party decides but requested for a period of three to six months before resigning.

Zuma indicated that he is the current chairperson of BRICS and the Southern African Development Community.

However, the party decided that Zuma had to resign immediately, said Magashule.

"This is an urgent matter and it has to be treated with urgency.

"The NEC firmly believe that the situation requires us to act with urgency in order to steer our country towards greater levels of unity, renewal and hope.

"The ANC felt we can’t wait for that period, it’s too long," Magashule said.

Magashule added that the ANC NEC members would be visiting various parts of the country to inform the party structures about the decision, and that the ANC wants the ruling party president Cyril Ramaphosa to become the country’s President.


South Africa ANC members march to force Zuma Resignation



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