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Friday 23 March 2018

South African president Jacob Zuma survives vote to oust him

South African President Jacob Zuma has survived a bid to remove him (AP)
South African President Jacob Zuma has survived a bid to remove him (AP)

President Jacob Zuma escaped a move to oust him as the leader of South Africa by senior members of his ruling party.

A motion to dismiss Mr Zuma, 74, over a string of corruption allegations since he came to office in 2009 was introduced at a meeting of the National Executive Committee, or NEC, of the African National Congress in Pretoria on Saturday.

The majority of the ANC's 80 executive committee members voted to keep Mr Zuma in office, the party's secretary general Gwede Mantashe told journalists in Johannesburg on Tuesday afternoon.

"Following honest, robust, candid and at times difficult discussion, the NEC did not support the call for the president to step down," said Mr Mantashe.

"All members of the NEC had the opportunity to raise in the meeting the issues they feel are hurting the movement and the country," he said.

Many ANC members have blamed Mr Zuma's corruption scandals for the party's poor performance in local elections in August in which it lost the key municipalities of Johannesburg and Pretoria to the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance.

It was the worst performance for the ANC, once led by Nelson Mandela, since it won power at the end of apartheid in 1994.

Three weeks ago, Mr Zuma survived a no-confidence motion in Parliament that was raised by the Democratic Alliance after the state corruption watchdog issued a report which alleged that he may have abused his position to win state contracts for his friends, the wealthy Gupta family.

Mr Zuma also faces the reinstatement of 783 corruption charges for an arms deal more than a decade ago.

Mr Zuma's term of office as the ANC's leader expires in December 2017.


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