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    South Africa-Politics-Zuma

    S/African NGO urges Zuma to take cue from Mbeki exit

    APA-Cape Town (South Africa)

    South African President Jacob Zuma should follow the example of the "graceful exit" of Thabo Mbeki in 2008 rather than clinging on to power after the ruling African National Congress has recalled him from the presidency, a non-governmental organisation has said.

    The NGO, a civil rights body known as  the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA), was on Tuesday reacting to Zuma’s reluctance to resign from power during the “transition” talks between the president and the ANC.

    OUTA’s comments were prompted by the ANC’s decision to inform the nation that it had no choice but to recall the “deployee”, as party secretary general Ace Magashule described Zuma in a media briefing at the ANC head office in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

    Mbeki, Zuma's predecessor, stepped down in 2008 after being similarly recalled by the party's National Executive Committee at the behest of the then ANC Deputy President, Jacob Zuma, in a tit-for-tat move against Mbeki for dismissing him from government as state Deputy President three years earlier over bribery and money laundering allegations involving 783 corruption charges.

    While Magashule said Zuma was ordered to resign to fulfil the recall, the latter has not given any indication as to when he might step down – leaving the entire country in suspense.

    “We are a country in limbo due to Zuma’s continued selfish behaviour. Personal gain has always been his motive and, once again, his conduct is no exception,” OUTA chief executive Wayne Duvenage said on Tuesday.

    He added: “He has defied everybody to date, including his party, Parliament and the courts.”

    Duvenage said his organisation would "oppose any deal that allowed Zuma to escape accountability for his involvement in criminal activities."

    “The era of Jacob Zuma’s presidency will be known as a period of personal enrichment, excessive political appointments and interference in the economy that was never in the best interests of the country, giving rise to shameless corruption, gross maladministration and incompetence.”

    Duvenage said OUTA hoped the ANC would also get rid of a number of cabinet ministers associated with Zuma, including Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba and Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown.

    Earlier another NGO, Business Leadership South Africa, also welcomed Magashule's comments, and urged the ANC’s new leadership to act swiftly but constitutionally in removing their "deployee" from the high office.

    Meanwhile, political analyst Daniel Silke said the "official recall has virtually eliminated all escape options for Jacob Zuma".

    "Zuma can fight the recall via the National Assembly process but the eventual result will be the same. He will do himself less damage by acceding to the NEC's request" and leave office gracefully, Silke said.

    NM/jn/APA

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