South African president survives party revolt

JOHANNESBURG: President Jacob Zuma survived an attempt to have him removed from office by his ruling African National Congress (ANC), the party said Tuesday.

The party's National Executive Committee (NEC) met at the weekend until late Monday during which a motion was proposed for the president's removal.

The NEC did not support calls for the president to step down, ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe told reporters Tuesday afternoon in Johannesburg.

He said the NEC had robustly debated Zuma's removal but choose to unify the party.

The ANC, which dates back to 1912, making it the oldest liberation movement on the continent, has been split into factions following former President Nelson Mandela's departure.

According to local media, calls for the President to resign were reportedly raised by Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi.

Zuma, who assumed office in May 2009, has faced a number of no-confidence votes against him in the National Assembly but survived thanks to the ANC majority.

This is the first time that Zuma's own party has attempted to remove him from office.

His leadership has been tainted by several corruption allegations, including using millions in state funds to upgrade his private home in Nkandla village, KwaZulu-Natal.

The president has also been accused of allowing friends from the wealthy Indian Gupta family to influence his decisions in appointing ministers and lobbying for lucrative state contracts. Zuma has denied that the Guptas influenced his decisions.

Political analysts have said his years in office have tainted the image of the ANC.

For the past year, several South African groups, including ANC veterans, have called on him to resign after he replaced three finance ministers in less than a week, leading to a fall in the rand and stock markets.

Zuma is currently in Cuba attending the funeral of former Cuban President Fidel Castro. His term in office ends in 2019.

Source: Anadolu Agency