The bet is still out on just how much damage the cabinet reshuffle by President Jacob Zuma has done for his chances at remaining in the Presidency until his mandate expires in 2019.
SA’s controversial cabinet reshuffle had seen the President setting aside trusted finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan.
The move resulted in a sharp plunge for the rand and even a credit ratings downgrade to junk status on Monday by Standard & Poor’s, further fuelling calls for Zuma to step down.
A series of protests by SA citizens and a call from a powerful trade union federation in SA, Cosatu, which doubles as a key coalition partner of the ruling ANC on Tuesday, called for President Zuma’s Resignation.
Coastu got in line behind many anti-apartheid veterans, business leaders and civil action groups who are also calling for Zuma to step down. Even Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, as well as the party’s chief whip, its treasurer, and several ANC allies, unleashed unprecedented criticism against the President.
ANC Backs Zuma
On Wednesday, however, President Jacob Zuma won the backing of the ruling African National Congress, which rejected calls for him to resign. The party acknowledged the growing calls for Zuma to resign, admitting to “serious and difficult disagreement” over the president’s sacking of respected finance minister Pravin Gordhan last week.
ANC still retains a large majority in parliament, a fact which has in the past helped him survive previous confidence votes. ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe told reporters Wednesday that although the party had “reflected” on the resignation demands, “we won’t recall President Jacob Zuma because opposition parties say so. It won’t work that way.”
President Zuma could either be ousted by the ANC recalling him or a vote of no confidence in parliament. Now that it has been ascertained that once again ANC backs Zuma, it remains to see if another no-confidence vote is in the works and if this time it will be against Zuma.