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South African Zuma to set up anti-graft probe

12 January 2018

South Africa's rand strengthened on Tuesday, touching its highest level in two sessions, after rumours that President Jacob Zuma had stepped down spurred a temporary rally in the currency against the greenback. Media is also speculating that Cyril Ramaphosa, who defeated Zuma's preferred candidate, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, will be trying to force Zuma out of the presidency to clear the way for reform of the party, which is suffering erosion of electoral support.

On December 29, South Africa's Constitutional Court ruled that the parliament had failed in its constitutional obligation to hold President Jacob Zuma accountable for illegal expenditure of public money on his private compound, Nkandla.

"The matter can not wait any longer", he said, adding: "I have chose to appoint a commission of inquiry".

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Meanwhile, the ANC National Executive Committee meets today and one of the items expected to be discussed is the removal of President Zuma. "His hand has been forced", said Mmusi Maimane, leader of the main opposition Democratic Alliance.

In terms of existing ANC policy‚ the party president automatically becomes the country's president.

Zuma may have warded off an ouster bid by agreeing to the establishment of a commission headed by a judge nominated by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng to investigate the claims that the Guptas had wielded undue control over the state.

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There has been widespread speculation that Zuma is being put under pressure to step down as president, giving Ramaphosa room to assume control and work towards the presidential bid for 2019.

Ramaphosa, 65, must strike a delicate balance between assuaging the concerns of Zuma supporters and meeting the desire of his own backers for the president's quick removal.

The ANC's former head of intelligence, Zuma, 75, took office in May 2009 just weeks after prosecutors dropped graft charges against him.

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South African Zuma to set up anti-graft probe