Government - ANC Says Zuma Must Go
South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) has met and decided that the nation cannot wait to get rid of scandal-plagued President Jacob Zuma's term, and will attempt to recall him from office.
Zuma refused to resign after the ANC's National Executive Committee met in a marathon session at a Pretoria hotel, which featured fruitless negotiations between Zuma and the party's new head Cyril Ramaphosa. The annual state of the nation address has been postponed until this issue is resolved.
The ANC is expected to invoke section 220.127.116.11 of its constitution to recall Zuma, although there is no legal framework to enforce what is essentially a party decision. However, the ANC controls the legislature and Zuma has no allies in the opposition parties. A parliamentary no-confidence vote would follow within a few days, and that would pretty much seal the deal. With the ANC still in control of parliament, Mr. Ramaphosa is considered to be president-in-waiting.
Some reports indicated that Mr. Zuma wanted to stay on the job for at least a few more months to attend a BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) summit and a meeting of the African Union. Others speculated that he's holding out for a deal to avoid prosecution.
Public dissatisfaction has grown as Zuma's presidency dragged on: Unemployment is high, the economy is stagnant, and corruption seems out of control. Zuma took years to pay back the state after using taxpayer money to install lavish upgrades to his family compound. He's also accused of allowing a wealthy family of developers wield undo influence on his administration and the country.