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South African protesters insist on Zuma’s resignation

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President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma

President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma

IT is certainly not yet uhuru for the South African President Jacob Zuma as calls for his resignation is far from been over This followed massive protests across the cities in the country where protester demanded Zuma’s immediate resignation, the demand they premised on the economic turmoil the sacking of the much respected Finance Minister, Nhlanhla Nene, triggered off. President Zuma was left badly bruised when he fired Nene last week in favour of little-known green horn David van Rooyen, who was removed after only four days in office. An earlier call for Zuma’s resignation by some groups and financial analysts was on Tuesday rebuffed by his party, ANC.

Zuma’s African National Congress (ANC) party, which has ruled since the end of apartheid in 1994, won the general election easily last year but could lose power in some major municipalities at local polls in 2016.

A protester, Theresa Giorza while speaking with AFP said, “We had such hopes in 1994 because of all the struggles to remove apartheid. “There were good leaders in place, and support for ANC at home and abroad. “Over time, lots of people started to feel it was going wrong. It has gone from bad to worse. Now it’s just rotten.”

The debacle over finance ministers triggered a market rout and fuelled opposition to Zuma, who has been buffeted by corruption scandals, a dire economy and charges of tarnishing Nelson Mandela’s legacy. Handing Van Rooyen the key finance portfolio fuelled fears that corrupt Zuma loyalists were calling the shots in government.

“This was another attempt to blunt the instruments of democracy,” said Zwelinzima Vavi, one of the march organisers.

“They wanted to grab the treasury for the interests of (those) who are eating from the carcass of our state.

“Jacob Zuma has demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that he doesn’t have what it takes to be a leader of a sophisticated democracy and economy.”

In one of the biggest crises of his rule, Zuma was forced into a dramatic U-turn, sacking Van Rooyen and re-appointing Pravin Gordhan, who was finance minister from 2009 to 2014.

During the debacle, the rand collapsed to historic lows as foreign investors pulled out and government bond yields jumped in a bout of pessimism over the future of Africa’s most advanced economy.


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