Zuma drama overshadows South Africa's Mandela commemorations

12 February, 2018, 00:55 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • Jacob Zuma

The rally is part of ANC celebrations marking 100 years since Mandela's birth, as Ramaphosa tries to revive the party's tarnished reputation.

On Sunday, Ramaphosa announced South Africa's national minimum wage is to be introduced from 1 May this year.

It said the leaders, who have participated in discussions on Zuma's exit, dropped out because of "various other commitments".

Addressing ANC supporters in Cape Town, Ramaphosa, who is deputy president, said: "The National Executive Committee of the ANC will be meeting tomorrow to discuss this very matter, and because our people want this matter to be finalised, the NEC will be doing precisely that".

He said his discussions with Zuma had to be conducted with "care and purpose" and with the aim of uniting South Africans.

The ANC has lost moral stature because of the president's scandals but Ramaphosa, Zuma's expected successor and new party leader, appears intent on managing an exit for the 75-year-old president that minimizes internal divisions.

Ramaphosa, 65, has been lobbying for Zuma to resign and has said he hopes to conclude talks with him over a transition of power 'in coming days.in the interests of the country.

Citing people close to the process, City Press has outlined Zuma's conditions for stepping down: "state-guaranteed safety for him and his family, his security being maintained at its current level and for the state to pay his legal fees for current and future matters linked to his tenure in government".

Referring to Zuma's possible resignation, the opposition Democratic Alliance party said Zuma's "schedule might soon become lighter" and that he should be the first witness to testify.

To carry out Mandela's legacy, the ANC must fight corruption, Ramaphosa said.

Ramaphosa also used the occasion to call on South Africans to reflect on the things that had gone wrong in the past and to make sure they do not happen again. He was freed from Robben Island prisons in 1990 before being elected the country's first black president in 1994. Denis Goldberg was imprisoned in Pretoria.

"We know you want closure on this matter", Ramaphosa said while launching centenary celebrations in honor of late president Nelson Mandela at the Grand Parade in Cape Town.

Ramaphosa added that the ANC would also work to rebuild the confidence of the nation and credibility of state-owned institutions.


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