Thursday 22 February 2018
(AFP (eng) 02/15/18)
South African lawmakers on Thursday selected Cyril Ramaphosa as the country's new president after scandal-tainted Jacob Zuma resigned under pressure from his own ANC ruling party. Ramaphosa was chosen without a vote after being the only candidate nominated, chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng told assembled lawmakers at a special sitting of the parliament in Cape Town. The announcement brought loud cheers from ANC lawmakers, with Ramaphosa due to address the parliament later during proceedings. Zuma resigned on Wednesday as the ANC...
(AFP (eng) 02/15/18)
South Africa's parliament will elect Cyril Ramaphosa as the country's new president on Thursday, the ruling ANC party said, after Jacob Zuma resigned in a late-night television address. The African National Congress (ANC), which has a large majority in parliament, said it would nominate Ramaphosa, a wealthy former businessman, "to be elected as the new President of the Republic of South Africa". After being voted in, Ramaphosa will address lawmakers gathered in the parliament in Cape Town, the party said in a statement. Jacob Zuma resigned on Wednesday as the ANC finally turned against him after a nine-year reign dominated by corruption scandals, economic slowdown and plummeting electoral popularity. Zuma railed against the ANC for "recalling" him from office and...
(AFP (eng) 02/15/18)
South Africa prepared to welcome wealthy former businessman Cyril Ramaphosa as its new president Thursday after scandal-tainted Jacob Zuma resigned under intense pressure from his own party. Zuma announced he had stepped down in a late-night television address in which he took some digs at the African National Congress (ANC) party that had threatened to oust him via a parliamentary no-confidence vote. In a 30-minute speech, Zuma said he had "come to the decision to resign as president of the republic with immediate effect".
(AFP (eng) 02/15/18)
South African President Jacob Zuma resigned on Wednesday as the ruling ANC party finally turned against him after nine years of corruption scandals, economic slowdown and falling popularity. Zuma railed against the African National Congress (ANC) for "recalling" him from office and threatening to oust him via a parliament no-confidence vote due on Thursday. In a 30-minute national television address, Zuma said he had "come to the decision to resign as president of the republic with immediate effect". Zuma has been in a power struggle with multi-millionaire former businessman Cyril Ramaphosa, the deputy president who now becomes interim president. Ramaphosa, who won control of the ANC when he was elected as its head in December, is set to be voted...
(AFP (eng) 02/15/18)
South African President Jacob Zuma announced his immediate resignation on Wednesday after the ruling ANC party threatened to eject him from office via a parliamentary vote of no confidence. Scandal-tainted Zuma said in a 30-minute national television address that he had "come to the decision to resign as president of the republic with immediate effect". "I have served the people of South Africa to the best of my ability. I am forever grateful that they trusted me with the highest office in the land," he said. Zuma, whose reputation has been stained by years-long allegations of graft...
(AFP (eng) 02/15/18)
South African President Jacob Zuma has resigned from office with immediate effect, ending a controversial and turbulent period in the country's political history. Zuma, 75, has been in power since 2009 and faced numerous allegations of corruption. Here are five of his biggest scandals: - Rape charges and HIV - Before taking office, Zuma was put on trial in 2006 for rape, in a case that dismayed many South Africans. Zuma said the sex with the 31-year-old family friend was consensual and he was acquitted. But he told the court he had showered to avoid contracting HIV after having unprotected sex with his HIV-positive accuser -- a common but dangerous myth. Zuma was head of the South African National AIDS...
(AFP (eng) 02/15/18)
Retired archbishop and Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu announced Thursday that he had quit his role as an ambassador for Oxfam after the British charity was hit by sexual misconduct allegations. "The Archbishop is deeply disappointed by allegations of immorality and possible criminality involving humanitarian workers linked to the charity," said a statement from his office in South Africa. "He is also saddened by the impact of the allegations on the many thousands of good people who have supported Oxfam's righteous work." The statement said that Tutu, 86, was retiring as an Oxfam global ambassador as he withdraws from many of his public commitments. Senegalese singer Baaba Maal and British actress Minnie Driver have also quit as Oxfam ambassadors after the...
(AFP (eng) 02/14/18)
South African President Jacob Zuma fought back Wednesday against an order from the ruling ANC party to immediately resign, saying he had been unfairly treated and was given no reason why he should quit. "It was very unfair to me that this issue is raised," he said in an unannounced TV interview. "Nobody has ever provided the reasons. Nobody is saying what I have done." In a rambling 45-minute interview, Zuma did not directly refuse to resign, but said that he disagreed with "the manner in which the decision is being implemented." He repeatedly said he was not defying the ANC leadership...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/14/18)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa’s ANC unveiled plans on Wednesday to sack President Jacob Zuma via a parliamentary no-confidence vote, hours after armed police raided the luxury home of his friends, the Gupta brothers, as part of an anti-corruption investigation. In his first response to an avalanche of pressure from the African National Congress (ANC) for him to quit, Zuma - who has been dogged by scandal throughout his political life - proclaimed his innocence and said he was being “victimized” by Nelson Mandela’s former liberation movement. “There’s nothing I’ve done wrong,” a relaxed but indignant Zuma said during a nearly hour-long interview with the SABC, South Africa’s state broadcaster. “I don’t think it’s fair. I think it’s unfair.” When...
(AFP (eng) 02/14/18)
South Africa's parliament will hold a vote of no-confidence in President Jacob Zuma on Thursday, the ruling ANC party said, signalling its determination to eject him from office after days of stalemate. "We have now asked the chief whip to proceed with the motion of no confidence tomorrow in parliament... so that President Zuma is then removed," ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile told reporters Wednesday. He said parliament, where the ANC has a large majority, would then "proceed to elect (Cyril) Ramaphosa as president of the republic" -- perhaps as early as Thursday or Friday. Zuma, who now faces as ignomious end to his nine scandal-plagued years in power, was expected to respond later on Wednesday to the ANC's order for...
(AFP (eng) 02/14/18)
South African President Jacob Zuma was under intense pressure to resign Wednesday as police raided the Johannesburg home of a business family accused of overseeing government corruption under his rule. Zuma was expected to respond to the ruling ANC party's order for him to resign -- hours after police arrived on Wednesday at the Gupta family's heavily protected house in the upmarket suburb of Saxonwold. "We have now left the compound.It is an operation that is ongoing related to issues of 'state capture'," police spokesman Hangwani Mulaudzi told AFP, referring to alleged corruption in state institutions.
(Reuters (Eng) 02/14/18)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Heavily armed South African police raided the luxury home of the Gupta family on Wednesday as part of a probe into allegations the three brothers had corrupt links with President Jacob Zuma, who has been ordered by the ruling ANC to quit as head of state. The raid, which the state broadcaster said resulted in two arrests including one Gupta family member, came amid reports Zuma was preparing to tell South Africa he was stepping down after nine years in office dogged by scandal and economic stagnation. Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said Zuma would speak at 0800 GMT and satellite trucks were in position at Pretoria’s Union Buildings, the seat of the country’s government. Zuma’s office said...
(AFP (eng) 02/14/18)
South Africans were on tenterhooks Wednesday as their scandal-tainted President Jacob Zuma was expected to respond to his party's decision to "recall" him from office in an atmosphere of growing political turmoil. The embattled president, who could be ousted in a parliamentary vote of no-confidence if he clings to office, has "agreed in principle to resign", the secretary-general of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), Ace Magashule, said Tuesday. A cabinet meeting scheduled for Wednesday was postponed indefinitely, the government said in a statement, effectively clearing Zuma's diary for the day. The power struggle over Zuma's departure has put him at loggerheads with deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, his expected successor, who is the new head of the party. Magashule told...
(AFP (eng) 02/14/18)
South Africa's film censorship authorities on Wednesday elevated the age restriction imposed on a controversial Oscar-shortlisted coming-of-age film, effectively banning it from being screened at public cinemas. The film came under fire for lifting the veil on secret initiation rites practised by one of the country's largest ethnic groups and exposing taboos around gay love and sex. In a statement the film and publication board tribunal said it has re-classified the age rating of the movie "Inxeba – The Wound", from 16 to 18 years. "A rating of X18 means that the material can only be distributed from designated adult premises," the board said in a statement "This means the film cannot be screened in cinemas or any other platform...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/14/18)
BARCELONA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Every day, the drought-hit South African city of Cape Town takes to social media channels to exhort residents to save on water, giving practical tips such as only flushing the toilet once a day with water already used for showering or washing up. It appears citizens are largely heeding the call to “beat Day Zero”, the date reservoirs are expected to have shrunk so low authorities will have to shut off taps in the city’s homes, forcing people to line-up for water at 200 collection points. This week, Day Zero was pushed back again until June 4, providing some relief to worried residents. It had previously been predicted as early as April. Ian Neilson, the...
(AFP (eng) 02/14/18)
South Africa's scandal-tainted president, Jacob Zuma, is at the brink of being ousted after an extraordinary two-month saga. Here are key moments in the drama: - New ANC chief - The African National Congress (ANC) met in December to elect a new leader to succeed Zuma. The battle was bitter, closely-fought and high stakes -- the winner could be expected to become the head of state and then lead the ANC into elections in 2019. Zuma's ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma faced off against Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Zuma's critics accused him of seeking to install his former spouse to protect himself from legal action after leaving office. On December 18, Ramaphosa won the tight contest, leaving Zuma stony-faced. - Zuma refuses...
(AFP (eng) 02/14/18)
A politically-connected business dynasty that moved to South Africa from India, the Gupta family finds itself at the centre of many of the scandals that have dogged President Jacob Zuma's administration. A day after the ruling ANC ordered Zuma out of office, the Guptas' prominent role in his presidency was highlighted on Wednesday as elite crime-busters raided the family's mansion in Johannesburg. - Who are the Guptas? - The family is headed by Ajay, Atul and Rajesh ("Tony") Gupta, three brothers from the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Led by Atul, they arrived in South Africa in 1993 as white-minority apartheid rule crumbled, a year before Nelson Mandela won the country's first democratic elections. As the country opened up...
(AFP (eng) 02/13/18)
South Africa's ANC party confirmed Tuesday it had decided to "recall" scandal-tainted President Jacob Zuma from office but said there was no deadline for him to resign, pitching the country 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". But Magashule said there was no date for Zuma to stand down, and added that there would be "continuing interaction" between party officials and Zuma. "In its wisdom, the NEC (National Executive Committee) decided... to recall its deployee Jacob Zuma," Magashule told reporters.
(AFP (eng) 02/13/18)
Cyril Ramaphosa's long and eventful career has taken him from trade union activist to multi-millionaire -- and now within a heartbeat of the South African presidency. After South Africa dismantled apartheid, Ramaphosa saw his hopes for the country's top job apparently dashed. True to his pragmatic character, he opted instead for life in business -- a move that brought him spectacular wealth. But Tuesday's announcement that the ruling African National Congress (ANC) had ordered that President Jacob Zuma be recalled from the presidency put Ramaphosa in pole position to succeed him. It was after Ramaphosa failed to clinch the ANC nomination to succeed president Nelson Mandela in 1999 that he swapped politics for a foray into business that made him...
(AFP (eng) 02/13/18)
South Africa braced Tuesday for a major political showdown as scandal-tainted President Jacob Zuma reportedly rejected a direct order from the ruling ANC party to leave office. The power struggle over Zuma's departure put the president at loggerheads with Cyril Ramaphosa, his expected successor, who is the new head of the African National Congress. The party's powerful 107-member national executive committee (NEC) met for 13 hours at a hotel outside Pretoria, and decided in the early hours of Tuesday to "recall" Zuma from his post. Ramaphosa and Ace Magashule, the party's secretary-general, had personally delivered a request for Zuma to resign to the president's official residence in Pretoria at about midnight.

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