Fri, May 05, 2017 - Page 6 News List

‘No chance in hell’ of removing Zuma: S African minister


South African opposition parties will fail in their campaign to remove South African President Jacob Zuma and the government will not be distracted by protests against his leadership, South African Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba said.

“The African National Congress [ANC] holds 62 percent of the vote in the National Assembly, so there is no chance in hell that the motion of no confidence will succeed,” Gigaba told reporters on Wednesday at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Durban, on South Africa’s east coast.

The nation’s top court is to hear opposition party arguments on May 15 to allow for a secret ballot in the planned no-confidence motion, the Business Day reported.

The groups hope an anonymous vote will encourage ANC lawmakers to support the motion.

Zuma, 75, has been dogged by scandal since he became president in 2009, and Gigaba is his fourth finance minister in less than two years.

S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings cut South Africa’s credit rating to “junk” last month after he fired Pravin Gordhan as finance minister, sparking protests by tens of thousands of people.

The North Gauteng High Court was yesterday to hear arguments on whether Zuma should supply reasons for the Cabinet changes, the opposition Democratic Alliance said on Wednesday.

The government is focused on boosting economic growth and rebuilding confidence in the economy following the credit rating downgrades, Gigaba said.

Zuma is due to step down as ANC leader at the party’s five-yearly elective conference in December. His successor will probably be the nation’s next president when Zuma’s term ends in 2019, given the ANC’s dominance of politics in South Africa since the first all-race vote in 1994.

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