Feb 6, 2018

South Africa's Zuma under mounting pressure to resign

South African President Jacob Zuma. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

South African President Jacob Zuma is facing mounting pressure to step down over corruption charges, and his scheduled "state of the nation" address has been postponed as the African National Congress party weighs his future.

The latest: Zuma has repeatedly resisted calls to resign, but South Africa’s online news service Times Live, cited unnamed sources, reports that Zuma will step aside soon under certain conditions. The report said a deal was struck late Tuesday local time with party leader Cyril Ramaphosa.

What’s happening:

  • The ANC, which has governed South Africa since the election of Nelson Mandela in 1994, would likely replace Zuma with Ramaphosa, his deputy, who was elected party leader last December.
  • Parliament said in a statement that the state of the nation address was being postponed “in order to create room for establishing a much more conducive political atmosphere in Parliament.” The opposition had threatened to disrupt the speech, the BBC reports.
  • An emergency meeting to determine Zuma's future had been scheduled for Wednesday but has been pushed back, per Reuters.
  • The Nelson Mandela Foundation, run by close colleagues of the country’s first black president, on Tuesday urged the embattled President to step down, according to local media reports. The foundation said Zuma had “betrayed the country" according to News24, a local station. An early exit would allow the ruling political party to "shore up" its prospects for next year’s election, the group said.
  • Zuma will face yet another no-confidence motion scheduled for Feb. 22, per The Associated Press. He narrowly survived a a no-confidence vote last August.

Go Deeper: The New York Times on how a British P.R. firm was disgraced by its activities in South Africa.

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