The African National Congress (ANC), South Africa’s ruling party, has formally requested President Jacob Zuma to step down as country leader. The party’s Secretary General Ace Magashule supposedly visited Zuma’s official residence on Tuesday to hand him a letter which explained the ANC’s decision, which was reached during a party meating on Monday night.
The South African president has been dogged by criminal investigations and corruption allegations during recent years, but has still managed to survive a half dozen no-confidence votes. In fact, Zuma has faced more than 780 allegations of corruption relating to a 1990s arms deal, but denies all the allegations against him.
Zuma must now decide whether to bow to the party’s demand, which has no constitutional effect, or cling on to power and face another vote of no confidence in parliament organized by opposition parties. He had already told party officals he was willing to stand down in the next three to six months, but the ANC rejected Zuma’s transition proposal and the President’s current stance is unclear.
Ace Magashule said the country needed to build on the “renewed hope” felt after the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as ANC leader, who took over from Jacob Zuma. “It is obvious we want Comrade Ramaphosa to come in as the president of South Africa,” he added. Zuma is expected to respond to the request on Wednesday.