Jacob Zuma


Jacob Zuma is refusing to step down

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Jacob Zuma

ANC leadership are locked in a meeting to decide the 75-year-old’s fate

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Monday, February 12, 2018 – 4:09pm

African National Congress party leaders are deciding the future of South African President Jacob Zuma, the 75-year-old strongman who refuses to step down and face corruption charges after almost nine years in power.

Nearly five days of talks between Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who took over leadership of the governing ANC in December, have failed to convince Zuma to leave.

The National Executive Committee (NEC) is likely to emerge from today’s meeting demanding Zuma’s resignation, although the meeting may not conclude until late on Monday if all 112 NEC want to voice their views, the BBC says.

What happens if Zuma doesn’t resign?

If Zuma refuses an order to step down, he will face a no-confidence vote in parliament “that he would almost certainly lose”, The Guardian reports. Under ANC rules, elected officials fulfil their functions according to the party’s will. The process could drag on for several months, however.

Why has Zuma’s departure taken so long?

Ramaphosa reportedly wants to avoid a divisive end to the matter, although some ANC leaders want a “quick exit” for Zuma, says HuffPost.

What will Zuma’s departure cost?

Zuma is likely to want to leave with a guaranteed salary and immunity from corruption charges. South Africa’s Business Day newspaper compares Zuma’s departure to the ousting of Robert Mugabe, who stepped down in Zimbabwe after making a deal that included a $ 10m (£7.24m) salary for life.

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