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South Africa opposition unites against Zuma

20 Avril 2017

While South Africa's President Jacob Zuma celebrates his birthday in Soweto' Johannesburg' thousands of protesters descend on Pretoria demanding he step down.

Parliament announced late Wednesday that it had postponed a planned vote of no confidence in Zuma at the request of the DA.

An emboldened President Jacob Zuma has told African National Congress (ANC) supporters that he's not bothered by people calling him names. Widely respected in global financial circles, Gordhan had opposed Zuma's unaffordable scheme to buy nuclear power plants from Russian Federation, a nontransparent deal that could open new channels for corruption. Two credit ratings agencies downgraded South Africa to junk status following the move, so it's going to get more expensive to borrow money here, and food prices could rise.

Meanwhile the ANC's Jessie Duarte praised the president for his recent cabinet reshuffle and said those appointed had "a lot to learn from him".

The rand climbed to a one-week high on Wednesday, in part encouraged by comments from the new finance minister indicating no significant change in policy. ANCYL secretary general Njabulo Nzuza said there are no counterprotests planned for Wednesday.

"We call upon protest organisers to ensure that the protest actions are peaceful and do not infringe on the rights of others". The DA includes many members of the white minority that still controls much of the economy 23 years after the end of apartheid.

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But doubts began to emerge soon afterward that not all such armaments or production facilities were declared and destroyed. There also is evidence that the Islamic State group and other insurgents have acquired chemical weapons.

"He has pissed on the graves of our forefathers and those who fought for our freedom", said John Moodey, the leader of the Democratic Alliance in Gauteng province.

The ANC and the party's influential Women's League expressed their support for Zuma. For indeed if the Executive, led by President Zuma, tries to shape policy and adopt a certain world-view and it faces hostility from the market, that points to a subversion and usurpation of power. He must fall now. "I don't complain", she said.

The former statesman now becomes the third ANC luminary to call on ANC MPs to consider the interests of South African voters over those of the party.

The vote is scheduled for next Tuesday but may be delayed due to a legal tussle over whether it should be a secret ballot for lawmakers. They believe that if they succeed they will have a better chance of removing Zuma because ANC dissidents need not fear reprisals.

Zuma appeared unconcerned by the growing calls for his removal and made no mention of the march, but instead beamed when the crowd burst out singing Happy Birthday.