Saturday , June 15 2024
Home / AFRICA / S.Africa political deadlock as Zuma clings to power

S.Africa political deadlock as Zuma clings to power

President Jacob Zum

Johannesburg, South Africa | AFP | South Africa’s political impasse deepened on Saturday with no resolution to extended talks over President Jacob Zuma’s expected departure from office after his own party called for him to resign.

Cyril Ramaphosa, the president-in-waiting, and the ruling ANC party have said negotiations should be concluded within days, but have given no details about how Zuma will be eased out of power.

The stalemate has left South Africa’s political scene in limbo, with a series of public events cancelled this week including the flagship State of the Nation address to parliament in Cape Town on Thursday.

Zuma cleared his diary of weekend engagements, but deputy president Ramaphosa is due to speak at a rally in the city on Sunday to start a year of celebrations marking 100 years since Nelson Mandela’s birth.

February 11 also marks the day that Mandela was released from jail in 1990 — a key date in modern South Africa’s re-birth as apartheid white-minority rule crumbled.

Zuma and Ramaphosa will “conclude” discussions on Zuma’s exit within 48 hours and the outcome will then be announced to the nation, the News24 website said Saturday without naming its sources.

But Susan Booysen, a politics professor from Wits University in Johannesburg, said Zuma may fight on for several more days.

“A stalemate is the best description for the situation,” she told AFP.

“Zuma is a fighter to the end and is refusing to resign, while Ramaphosa doesn’t want to be divisive.

“Zuma pretended to open the doors of negotiations, but he is digging in.”

– Corruption scandals –

Local media reported that a key sticking point in talks was over legal fees faced by Zuma, who is set for prolonged court battles related to multiple criminal cases.

On Friday, the president reportedly flew back from Cape Town to his official residence in Pretoria.

The ANC has said it is awaiting the “imminent conclusion” of the talks, and said the budget on February 21 will not be delayed.

Ramaphosa has made no official comment since Wednesday when he described the discussions as “constructive” towards securing “a speedy resolution of the matter.”

Zuma has made no comment since being asked to resign by senior ANC officials last Sunday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *