Saturday, 21 July, 2018

South Africa's Zuma to set up inquiry into graft claims

Siphiwe Sibeko  Reuters                       Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema at a protest outside the Israeli embassy in Pretoria Siphiwe Sibeko Reuters Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema at a protest outside the Israeli embassy in Pretoria
Melinda Barton | 12 January, 2018, 21:15

South Africa's military veterans have urged the new African National Congress leadership to deal withformer ANC leader Jacob Zuma's future as the leader of the country as soon as possible.In doing so‚ there should be "no place for vendettas and vindictiveness", uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans' Association (MKMVA) president Kebby Maphatsoe said on Monday.

The 75-year-old president has faced and denied numerous corruption allegations since taking office in 2009 and has survived several votes of no-confidence in parliament.

The president said that "this matter can not wait any longer".

Maphatsoe's statement comes amid growing calls for Zuma to resign from the state presidency, and for newly-elected ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa to take over the reins of government, after he narrowly beat hs contender and former African Union Commissioin chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma at the party's elective conference in December 2017.

Zuma's removal also had "no expressed authority" according to the ANC constitution, the letter said, adding that the NEC was not and had never been "an appointing authority on any person to the office of the president of the Republic of South Africa, irrespective of the fact that Zuma was its preferred candidate for that position before and after [the 2014] general elections".

"We believe that the rand's rally is looking overstretched given that South Africa's idiosyncratic risks did not end with Ramaphosa's victory".

Ramaphosa, 65, must strike a delicate balance between assuaging the concerns of Zuma supporters and meeting the desire of his own backers for the president's quick removal.

Speculation remains rife that President Jacob Zuma might be recalled during the meeting.

Zuma may have warded off an ouster bid by agreeing to the establishment of a commission headed by a judge nominated by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng to investigate the claims that the Guptas had wielded undue control over the state.

"The Zuma trigger today (yesterday) gives a glimpse of how the rand will react if Zuma does step down early, although this possibility is increasingly being priced in", said Christopher Shiells, a senior emerging market analyst at Informa Global Markets.