The Financial Express

Zuma breaks silence following ANC’s ultimatum

| Updated: February 16, 2018 20:07:08

Zuma breaks silence following ANC’s ultimatum

South Africa's embattled President Jacob Zuma said he has done nothing wrong and sees no reason to stand down.

Mr Zuma spoke after the ruling African National Congress (ANC) gave him an ultimatum to resign by the end of the day or face a parliamentary vote of no confidence on Thursday.

The 75-year-old has come under increasing pressure to resign amid numerous allegations of corruption.

But he said the ANC had failed to explain why he had been recalled.

In a lengthy, unannounced, interview with national broadcaster SABC, Mr Zuma made no reference to the early morning police raids and arrests at the home of his close associates, the wealthy, Indian-born Gupta family.

The Guptas have been accused of using their close friendship with the president to wield enormous political influence. Both parties deny all allegations of wrongdoing.

Mr Zuma stressed that he was not defying the ANC but he disagreed with its decision to ask him to resign.

"It was very unfair to me that this issue is raised," he said. "Nobody has ever provided the reasons. Nobody is saying what I have done."

Mr Zuma's decision to cling on to power has put him at odds with South Africa's deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, the ANC's new leader and his expected successor.

President Zuma told SABC he had offered to go after June, but objected to the way the issue was currently being handled.

He said he would make a further statement later on Wednesday.

The ANC said it had noted Mr Zuma's televised comments but would await his promised later statement before responding further.

Earlier, ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu announced that a motion of no-confidence in the president would be heard on Thursday, with Mr Ramaphosa sworn in as the nation's president as soon as possible after that.

A meeting of the ANC's National Executive Committee had announced its decision to recall Mr Zuma on Tuesday and gave him until the end of Wednesday to resign.


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