Feb 14, 2018 - Politics & Policy

Zuma's last stand: South African president's time is running out

Zuma at the U.N. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The walls are closing in around South African President Jacob Zuma, who is refusing calls from his own party to resign and is now expected to face, and lose, a vote of no confidence on Thursday if he doesn’t step down before then.

The big picture: Zuma, 75, is a political survivor. He has been dogged by corruption allegations since before he became president in 2009, and multiple no confidence votes have failed during his tenure. The difference this time is that his own party has fully abandoned him.

The latest: Zuma gave a lengthy, defiant TV address earlier today, claiming he is a victim of an “unfair” process and there should be no “hurry” to force him out immediately. He says he’s willing to step down in June after a transition process, a suggestion his party finds unacceptable.

  • Zuma will reportedly make another statement about his future this evening.

The most recent allegations: Zuma is accused of steering government contracts to two wealthy Indian-born brothers, the Guptas, and enriching himself in the process. A villa belonging to one of the brothers was raided Wednesday by anti-corruption police.

What’s next: Cyril Ramaphosa, the deputy president and head of the ruling ANC party, is expected to be elected president by parliament and sworn in on Friday.

Go deeper: Meet Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa’s president-in-waiting

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