South Africa Court Clears Way For Zuma Graft Prosecution

Jacob Zuma
President Jacob Zuma

South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal ruled on Friday that President Jacob Zuma can face prosecution over almost 800 charges of corruption relating to a 1990s arms deal.

Zuma had lodged a challenge at the court in Bloemfontein after a lower court decided in 2016 to reinstate the charges that were previously discontinued by prosecutors.

“The reasons for discontinuing the prosecution given… do not bear scrutiny,” said Supreme Court judge Eric Leach who read the ruling.

The opposition Democratic Alliance party had sought in 12 court appearances since 2009 to reactivate the charges over controversial post-apartheid military contracts which have dogged Zuma for much of his time in government.

The president, who is accused of corruption, fraud, money-laundering and racketeering, has always insisted he is innocent.

Zuma and other government officials were accused of taking kickbacks from the $5 billion (4.2 billion euros) purchase of fighter jets, patrol boats and other arms manufactured by five European firms, including British military equipment maker BAE Systems and French company Thales.

Charges were first brought against Zuma in 2005 but dropped by prosecutors in 2009.

AFP

Thousands March In South Africa Against Zuma

Thousands Expected To March In South Africa Against Jacob ZumaThousands of protesters are staging a multi-city protest against President Jacob Zuma’s leadership in South Africa.

They are calling on President Zuma once again, to step down following a string of scandals.

The recent sacking of respected Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, last Thursday has outraged allies and opponents.

The reshuffle also caused rifts in the ruling African National Congress (ANC), which has governed South Africa since the end of the ‘white-minority rule’ in 1994.

Similarly, S&P Global Ratings cited Gordhan’s dismissal as one reason for its downgrade of South Africa to “junk” in an unscheduled review on Monday.

The Rand has tumbled more than 11 per cent since March 27, when President Zuma ordered Mr Gordhan to return home from overseas talks with investors, days before firing him from the cabinet.

South Africa’s Zuma Gets Backing From ANC

South Africa's Zuma Gets Backing From ANCEmbattled South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma, has survived another attempt to force him out of office for the umpteenth time.

This time, the President received the backing of a major decision-making body within the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

The committee was reviewing a complaint by some of the ANC top executives that President Zuma had failed to consult them over reshuffling his cabinet.

After considering the complaint, the ANC body said it has decided not to press for the President’s resignation.

Mr Zuma has been under growing pressure since sacking respected South Africa’s Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan.

Mr Gordhan was sacked alongside 14 other members of the cabinet, following an urgent meeting of the ANC .

The former Finance Minister described an intelligence report used by President Zuma as justification as ‘absolute nonsense‘.

South African Speaker Aborts Trip To Discuss Urgent Motion

South African Speaker Aborts Trip To Discuss Urgent MotionSpeaker of the South African Parliament, Baleka Mbete, has cut short her participation at the International Parliamentary Union in Bangladesh, to address pressing political developments in the country.

Foremost among the issues are opposition parties’ request for a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma to be tabled before the Assembly this week.

This follows a controversial cabinet reshuffle carried out by the President, where a well-loved Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan was removed.

Although the parliament is on recess, but the opposition parties want an urgent sitting to debate the motion.

Ms Mbete, who is also the Chairperson of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), told reporters at the OR Tambo Airport on Sunday that there will be consultations from Tuesday before a date can be set.

Mr Gordhan was sacked alongside 14 other members of the cabinet, following an urgent meeting of the ANC on Thursday night.

Reacting to his sack, the former Finance Minister described an intelligence report used by President Zuma as justification as ‘absolute nonsense’.

South African Leaders Divided Over Gordhan’s Sack

South African Leaders Divided Over Gordhan's SackThere was a delay to the swearing-in of new ministers selected by President Jacob Zuma in South Africa, as the programme had to be rescheduled for Friday evening.

The President’s sacking of the country’s Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, has drawn mixed reactions from South African leaders, with some praising Mr Gordhan’s virtues.

They believed he is victim of a witch-hunt, because he had been digging up dirt on the President.

Reacting to his sack, the former Finance Minister said an intelligence report used by President Zuma as justification was ‘absolute nonsense’.

Gordhan was sacked alongside 14 other members of the cabinet, following an urgent meeting of the African National Congress (ANC) convened by the South African President on Thursday night.

South Africa: Zuma Sacks Finance Minister, 14 Others

Jacob Zuma, South AfricaThere are strong indications that 15 ministers of the South African cabinet might have been sacked.

This comes as part of the fall out of an urgent meeting of the African National Congress (ANC) convened on Thursday night by President Jacob Zuma.

According to report, no names have been released, although it is said that nine ministers and six deputies have been fired.

At an earlier news briefing, it was gathered that President Zuma had hinted on his intention to remove the Minister of Finance, based on an intelligence report which stated that the Minister had set up meetings with people who could push for a change in government.

Meanwhile, a party source said that the President is considering to step down in 2018, at least 12 months before his term ends as South African President.

Mr Zuma is due to be replaced as leader of the African National Congress (ANC) at a party conference in December, after serving his allocated two terms.

South Africa’s Anti-apartheid Veteran, Kathrada Dies At 87

Courtesy: alchetron.com
Courtesy: alchetron.com

South African anti-apartheid activist, Ahmed Kathrada, has passed on at the age of 87, in a Johannesburg hospital.

According to reports, he died peacefully  “after a short period of illness, following surgery to the brain”.

Along with the late former South African President, Nelson Mandela, Mr Kathrada was among the eight African National Congress (ANC) activists sentenced to life imprisonment in 1964.

They were convicted of trying to overthrow the apartheid government.

The anti-apartheid icon spent 26 years in prison, 18 of which were on the notorious Robben Island.

He was released in 1989, after which the late former South African President persuaded him to join him in government.

Ahmed Kathrada left parliament in 1999, but remained active in politics.

He criticised the recent direction of the ANC and called on President Jacob Zuma to resign.

Nigeria, South Africa To Set Up Early Warning Unit

Nigeria, South Africa To Set Up Early Warning UnitNigeria and South Africa have agreed to set up an early warning unit to look into issues that often bring friction between the citizens of both countries.

This was part of the outcomes of the meeting between Nigeria’s Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Interior, Geoffrey Onyeama, Abdulrahman Dambazzau, and their South African counterparts.

The Nigerian Ministers visited South Africa, following the recent attacks on foreign nationals in the country.

nigeria-sa

The Nigerian community said they had reported the incident to the Nigeria Mission and South African Police.

The Nigerian Government had also called on the South African Government to take decisive and definitive measures to protect its citizens and other Africans within the country’s borders.

The call was made by the Senior Special Assistant to Nigeria’s President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Honourable Abike Dabiri-Erewa.

Honourable Dabiri-Erewa also urged the African Union to intervene urgently in the renewed xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

In their reactions, some Mamelodi residents staged an anti-foreigners protest in Pretoria, South Africa’s capital.

The locals, during the march, presented a Memorandum of Grievances and Demands to the Departments of Labour and Home Affairs.

They expressed worry over criminal foreign nationals who they claimed were abusing the country’s hospitality by engaging their children in prostitution and drugs among other ills.

South Africa’s Zuma Refutes Xenophobia Claims

Jacob Zuma, South AfricaSouth Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma, says the narrative that his country is xenophobic is incorrect.

President Zuma said this is because South Africa places quite high among those that welcome and allow foreign nationals to thrive.

He made the remark after a walk in the township of Soshanguve, as part of efforts to tackle crime hot spots in the country.

The President’s statement follows the recent attacks and looting of Nigerian-owned businesses in Pretoria West in South Africa.

The Nigerian community said they had reported the incident to the Nigeria Mission and South African Police.

Concerned Mamelodi residents consequently staged an anti-foreigners protest in Pretoria, South Africa’s capital.

The locals, during the march, presented a Memorandum of Grievances and Demands to the Departments of Labour and Home Affairs.

They expressed worry over criminal foreign nationals who they claimed were abusing the country’s hospitality.

However, the Acting Nigerian High Commissioner to South Africa, Ambassador Martins Cobham, spoke to Channels Television on how both countries are working together to calm the situation.

Ambassador Cobham urged Nigerians to remain peaceful and abstain from activities that may come in form of reprisal attacks.

South Africa’s ANC Loses In Zuma’s Hometown, Nkandla

Jacob-Zuma-ANCSouth Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) failed to take control of President Jacob Zuma’s hometown of Nkandla, local election results showed on Thursday, a symbolic blow to the scandal-tinged Zuma.

Zuma survived an impeachment vote in April after the Constitutional Court said he breached the law by ignoring an order to repay some of the $16 million in state funds spent on renovating his private home in Nkandla, located in a poverty-stricken rural area of Kwa-Zulu Natal province.

“Nkandla” has become a household word in South Africa that is almost synonymous with graft.

The loss, in local polls that are the sternest test the ANC has faced since the end of apartheid in 1994, will also smart because it was at the hands of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), a Zulu nationalist party, which widened its tally in the area to 54 percent from 46 percent in 2011.

The ruling party garnered 44 percent.

Zuma, a traditional Zulu with four wives and an earthy style, has helped deliver the Zulu vote in the province for the ANC in elections, and cast his own vote in the area on Wednesday.

But the IFP, which mostly appeals to Zulus, had almost 5 percent of the national vote with most of the tally completed compared to 3.6 percent in the last local elections in 2011.

Ruling ANC, Zuma Face Test In South Africa Polls

Jacob-Zuma-ANCThe people of South Africa have trooped out in large numbers to vote in local elections perceived as a test for President Jacob Zuma and the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

There was heavy security presence at the polls after a number of ANC local councilors were shot dead.

The tragedy is assumed to be the outcome of a hidden crisis in the final weeks of the campaigns.

The election reveals that the ANC, who has been ruling since 1994, might lose dominance in three major cities of Pretoria, Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg.

President Zuma has had to weather the scandal, after being ordered to refund taxpayers’ money spent on his private home.

Some senior officials of the party have asked the South African President to step aside, as a result of the scandal and the weak economy.

South Africa Elections: Zuma And ANC Face Test

zumaPresident Jacob Zuma and the ruling African National Congress’s popularity will be put to test as South Africans go to the polls for local elections.

The ANC has dominated the political landscape of South Africa since the first all-race elections in 1994, but Mr Zuma has had to weather scandal, after being ordered to repay taxpayers’ money spent on his private home.

Opinion polls see a close race in the capital Pretoria, economic-hub Johannesburg and other key cities, alongside the symbolic Nelson Mandela Bay municipality named after the anti-apartheid icon.

“I’m voting because I want access to electricity, water and other services. Unemployment is rife and I think voting will help change that,” William Mahlangu, 58, a pensioner, at a polling station in Pretoria told Reuters.

The ANC, at one point the main anti-apartheid party, is under pressure from two parties – the Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters, who are competing in their first local elections under firebrand leader, Julius Malema.