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President Jacob Zuma, who is under pressure to resign his office, during his 2016 State of the Nation speech (© Trevor Samson/ Business Day)

South Africa: President Zuma defies ANC, faces impeachment  

South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma has criticised his party, the Africa National Congress (ANC) for recalling him without taking him through the party’s disciplinary processes.

 “Why cut it now. I do have a problem, I joined the ANC when I was very young. I have been going to places knowing that I could be killed. It’s the first time that I feel the leadership is being unfair,” said Zuma, who was addressing the nation on TV for the first time since the debate on his premature exit.

The National Executive Committee of ANC on Tuesday recalled Zuma from the office of the president and duly informed him.

The party’s parliamentary caucus met on Wednesday and resolved to support a vote of no confidence motion against the president in Parliament, if he refuses to resign.

The speaker of Parliament consequently wrote to Julius Malema of the Economic Freedom Fighters, consenting to the request to move the motion forward to Thursday. It had earlier been scheduled for February 22.

The ANC caucus also agreed to make amendments to the EFF’s motion, specifically explaining why the ANC is supporting it.

Since Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was voted in as ANC party leader last year Zuma has faced mounting calls to end his second term as president early.

Ramaphosa has pledged to tackle the corruption which has marred Zuma’s nine years in office.

Patience on the street has been wearing thin.

“If I was Zuma I would step down because his term is over. Everybody hates him, he better step down no ways,” says one young Sowetan man.

“I think it’s definitely time that he steps down, resigns and leaves office, and be prosecuted as well,” said another man.

Zuma’s presidency has been overshadowed by allegations of corruption although he’s not been found guilty of any of the accusations against him and he remains popular among loyal supporters.

Adira Kallo with agency

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