The African National Congress (ANC) party yesterday confirmed that it had decided to “recall” scandal-tainted South African President Jacob Zuma from office, but said there was no deadline for him to resign, pitching the nation into further uncertainty.
ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule told reporters that Zuma had “agreed in principle to resign and had proposed time frames extending from three to six months.”
However, Magashule said there was no date for Zuma to stand down, adding that there would be “continuing interaction” between party officials and Zuma.
“The decision by the NEC to recall its deployee was taken only after exhaustive discussion on the impact such a recall would have on the country,” he said.
The ANC can “recall” the head of state, but the process is a party-level instruction and he is under no constitutional obligation to obey.
It said Zuma would respond to the recall decision today.
The power struggle over Zuma’s departure has put the president at loggerheads with Cyril Ramaphosa, his expected successor, who is the party’s new head.
The ANC’s leadership committee met for 13 hours at a hotel outside Pretoria and decided early yesterday to “recall” Zuma from his post.
A committee member confirmed that the president had asked for three more months in office and described the request as “hogwash.”
“We just felt he meant three months of looting,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The political deadlock has plunged South Africa into confusion over who is running the country, with a series of public events canceled last week including the annual state of the nation address to parliament.
“We know you want this matter to be finalized,” Ramaphosa, 65, told a party rally in Cape Town on Sunday.
“We know you want closure... Because our people want this matter to be finalized, the NEC will be doing precisely that,” he said.
South African opposition parties have called for early elections as the ANC’s leadership battle grinds on.
An opposition request for a no-confidence vote against Zuma, 75, this week was still being considered by the parliamentary speaker.
Zuma’s presidency has been marred by corruption scandals, slow economic growth and record unemployment that have fueled public anger.
He was scheduled to stand down next year after serving the maximum two terms after coming to power in 2009.
KEEP AWAY: People should wear a mask in places where they cannot follow social distancing rules, the CECC said, adding that it would publish detailed guidelines today The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced 16 new cases of COVID-19, including two domestic cases, as it urged people to practice social distancing in public spaces by keeping a distance of at least 1m when outdoors and 1.5m indoors. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that seven of the new cases tested positive upon their arrival at the airport, four were under home quarantine, one was under home isolation and two were under self-health management, while the two domestic cases sought treatment on their own. The domestic cases are a man in his
Taiwan will negotiate with the WHO about its participation without Beijing’s help and intervention as more countries, including Australia and Japan, are partnering with Taiwan to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a telephonic roundtable with reporters on Monday also supported Taiwan’s role in the WHO, saying the US Department of State would do its best to assist Taiwan’s “appropriate role” in the world’s highest health policy setting body, Voice of America reported. In a Japan Business Press report published on Sunday, Chinese Ambassador to Japan Kong Xuanyou (孔鉉佑) said
Japan’s ruling party yesterday proposed the nation’s biggest-ever stimulus package of ￥60 trillion (US$554 billion) as the COVID-19 pandemic locks the economy in a recession. The sum includes ￥20 trillion in fiscal measures with private initiatives and other elements likely making up the rest, the proposal by the Liberal Democratic Party showed. More than ￥10 trillion, or the equivalent of a 5 percentage point cut in the sales tax rate, would be handed out to the public in a combination of cash, subsidies and coupons, the plan showed. The proposal puts an initial figure on a stimulus package that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo
Malaysian authorities have advised women to wear makeup, not to nag their husbands and speak with a cartoon character’s soothing voice during the virus lockdown, sparking a flood of mockery online. Like many countries, Malaysia has ordered all citizens to stay at home to stem the spread of COVID-19, which, as of yesterday, had killed at least 39,070 people globally. In a series of online posters with the hashtag #WomenPreventCOVID19, the Malaysian Ministry of Women and Family Development issued advice on how to avoid domestic conflicts during the partial lockdown, which began on March 18. One of the campaign posters depicted