Mixed reactions over S. African president's recall

Source:Xinhua Published: 2018/2/14 8:56:27

South African experts expressed mixed reactions to the recall of President Jacob Zuma by his party, the African National Congress (ANC).

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule told the media on Tuesday afternoon that the ruling party's National Executive Committee (NEC) resolved to recall Zuma and that Zuma has been given until Wednesday to respond.

"The NEC decided to recall its deployee, comrade Jacob Zuma... The decision to recall Jacob Zuma is final. That decision can't change," Magashule said.

Goolam Ballim, Standard Bank's chief economist, said Zuma's recall would be good for the ANC and the country.

"The market has cheered at this prospect in reality, whether it is justified or not is somewhat academic," he said.

"The reality is that the markets are celebrating the potential for a new regime and a new epoch of an assault on corruption, better predictability," said Ballim.

Ballim said Cyril Ramaphosa's election as the ANC president brought in some optimism and hope.

He said that Ramaphosa's elevation to the president of the country would ignite more hope for South Africa.

Another analyst, Sipho Seepe, told Xinhua that the ANC needs to sort its internal pressure and renew itself. Seepe said Zuma has been sacrificed for the problems facing the party.

"The ANC has gone through a difficult period. It has to find a way of renewing itself. President Zuma has since been treated as a scapegoat," Seepe said.

"The very new leadership that calls for his removal is the same lot that defended him in the last nine years," he added.

Shepherd Mpofu, a research fellow at University of Johannesburg, said the recall is an advantage to the party and improves the chances of winning elections.

"Zuma has been unloved by the markets and we are likely going to see the rand firm," Mpofu said, referring to the country's local currency.

"Zuma's recall definitely improves the ANC's image towards the 2019 election," he added.

South Africa is scheduled to hold presidential and parliamentary elections in 2019. The ruling ANC performed poorly in local government elections in 2016.

Some organizations, including the Thabo Mbeki Foundation, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), and the South African Communist Party (SACP), welcomed Zuma's recall.

"It has been obvious for many years that the interests of our country would be best served if indeed Mr. Zuma ceased to be president of the Republic," the Mbeki Foundation said in a statement. "As a disciplined and loyal cadre of the ANC and out of respect for the constitution of the country, Mr. Zuma must communicate with the speaker of the House of Assembly to tender his resignation as the president of the republic."

The recall would give the ruling party chance to attend to many challenges and negative developments which have arisen during the years of Zuma's presidency, the statement said.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions said if Zuma does not agree to being recalled, the ruling party should follow the parliamentary process of a motion of no confidence.

The South African Communist Party said recalling Zuma would enable the ANC to address challenges facing the country.

"The decision should pave the way to a deep-going, decisive self-correction and greater ANC and Alliance unity to revitalize democratic support from lost ground towards greater heights," the SACP said in a statement, referring to a tripartite alliance grouping the ANC, the SACP, and COSATU.

Posted in: AFRICA

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