South African president Jacob Zuma faces impeachment vote

Impeachment proceedings unlikely to succeed because of ANC majority in parliment

South African president Jacob Zuma faces an impeachment attempt in parliament on Tuesday after the country’s top court ruled that he had violated the constitution over spending on his private residence. Photograph: David Harrison/AFP/Getty Images

South African president Jacob Zuma faces an impeachment attempt in parliament on Tuesday after the country’s top court ruled that he had violated the constitution over spending on his private residence. Photograph: David Harrison/AFP/Getty Images

 

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) party has reaffirmed its support for president Jacob Zuma following crisis talks on Monday.

The support came just hours ahead of Tuesday’s impeachment vote, called after the country’s top court ruled Mr Zuma had failed to uphold the constitution.

Mr Zuma secured the backing of ANC heavyweights on Friday, having apologised for failing to repay some of the $16 million of state money spent on his private residence, which led to last week’s constitutional court ruling against him.

“The president has apologised and that’s the humility that is necessary for any leader,” ANC general secretary Gwede Mantashe told 702 Talk Radio on Monday, after senior members of the party met to discuss Mr Zuma the previous evening.

The scandal is arguably the biggest yet to hit the president, who has fended off accusations of corruption, influence peddling and even rape since before he took office in 2009.

The impeachment proceedings, launched by the Democratic Alliance-led opposition and scheduled to be debated and voted on on Tuesday afternoon, are unlikely to succeed because of the ANC’s strong majority in parliament.

South Africa’s rand currency weakened ahead of the vote, and following a warning by the central bank on Monday night that the risk of a credit ratings downgrade had increased.

Reuters