Jacob Zuma Complains Of ‘Unfair’ Efforts To Force Him Out

Beleaguered South African President Jacob Zuma denounced efforts to oust him as “unfair” on Wednesday, as senior members of his party ramped up their chaotic efforts to end his corruption-tainted tenure.

In his first public remarks since leaders of the African National Congress demanded he step down, Zuma defiantly refused to go and complained the party was trying to rush him out.
The ANC is desperately trying to prevent a protracted crisis and has set a deadline for Zuma to resign on Wednesday. If he doesn’t, it will back anΒ opposition no-confidence motionΒ in parliament on Thursday. It wants party leader Cyril Ramaphosa sworn in on Friday and a State of the Nation address that evening.
Adding to the tumult, Zuma said he would make a further statement later on Wednesday. With few allies left, his resignation is still a possibility.
In an interview with state broadcaster SABC, Zuma delivered a rambling monologue in which he denied any wrongdoing. “My problem is that nobody has provided to me, even in the discussions that we are talking about, what have I done. Because I have explained many times that this process, there’s nothing I’ve done wrong,” he said.
“This has been done in a manner that I felt, I’m being victimized here.”
Zuma faces hundreds of allegations of corruption, more than 780 of which relate to a 1990s arms deal alone. Zuma denies all the graft allegations against him. He also denied defying the ANC’s leadership: “I’ve not defied. I’ve disagreed with a decision taken. I disagree with it, I think it is baseless.”
In his comments, the President also criticized the ANC for rejecting his proposal to resign in a few months’ time, arguing they should allow him to lead the country to chair upcoming international events, such as the BRICS summit.
“What is this hurry, what are you rushing for?”
Zuma’s term was due to end next year.

Dawn raid on the Guptas

In what appeared to be a parallel effort to force Zuma’s resignation, police made three arrests after a dawn raid on the Indian-born Gupta brothers’ home in Johannesburg. Police did not say who they had arrested, but added that two others were expected to hand themselves in.
The three Gupta brothers are wealthy allies of Zuma and are accused of using their ties with the President for financial gain. They deny all the allegations against them.

ANC: ‘The ball is in Zuma’s court’

The raid on the Guptas’ home came a day after the ANC announced a “recall” of Zuma — in effect, a public demand that he step down. The recall does not legally require him quit, but it signaled that he had lost the support of the party’s top brass and means that surviving a no-confidence vote would be near impossible.
Zuma’s ability to survive the scandals in the past earned him the nickname “Teflon President.” He has emerged unscathed in a slew of no-confidence votes over the years despite the extraordinary number of corruption allegations against him, counting on the ANC’s dominance in parliament to shield him.
But with the 2019 general elections looming, the ANC has turned against Zuma and has said that the tumult over the President’s scandals was tarnishing the party’s name and bringing instability to the country. The party, once led by Nelson Mandela, has ruled South Africa since 1994, and led the country out of apartheid.
“We cant wait. It’s not fair to South Africans. It’s not fair to the ANC. It’s not fair to anybody,” ANC Treasury General Paul Mashatile told reporters Wednesday.
“The ball is in his court. We are moving ahead.”
For its part, the ANC has faltered over the years to force Zuma out and has desperately ramped up pressure against the leader in recent days to hammer the nail in his coffin. Some ANC leaders have said they expect Zuma to step down on Wednesday

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