Zuma survives again, but issues stern warning to NEC members

The top leadership of South Africa's ruling African National Congress is this weekend debating a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.

At 1710 GMT the rand weakened 0.76 per cent to 12.9675 per dollar, erasing most of the gains in made in the previous session as investors bet on strong opposition to Zuma continued leadership of the African National Congress and the country.

While ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa denied that the option of Zuma's ouster will feature at the three-day executive committee meeting that starts Friday, four members of the panel said they would force it onto the agenda.

It is the second time in six months that party rebels have mounted such a challenge.

The opposition has also tabled a new no-confidence motion in parliament, which will be debated in the coming weeks.

Zuma is facing mounting pressure against him within the ANC, opposition parties and civil society has swelled since he axed respected finance minister Pravin Gordhan in March, triggering credit rating downgrades that have hit chances of a recovery in the struggling economy. "This is taken seriously, in the light of the political killings mainly in the KZN province, and the threats to Comrade Makhosi Khoza and other ANC members". Fifty-four members of the NEC spoke out in support of Zuma, while 18 said they wanted him to quit, the person said.

While it was expected that the reports would from part of discussions at the NEC gathering, Mantashe said this was not the case.

This proved to be two big concerns among respondents, with more than half of both total adults and ANC supporters strongly agreeing that this move was a mistake.

"The damage done is serious to the ANC and it will take someone who does not have specific ties to Zuma to rekindle the flames of the party", Silke said.

Zuma himself proposed it at a weekend meeting of the ANC national executive committee, the party's Secretary General Gwede Mantashe said at a press conference broadcast live by the television station eNCA.

However, the NEC revolt marks increasing resistance to Mr Zuma's efforts to determine his successor as party leader in a vote to be held later this year.

Zuma warned members to "not push him too far" by criticising him in public.


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