Parliament to debate motion against Zuma

African National Congress (ANC) has said that it was not part of the campaign to unseat South Africa's President Jacob Zuma.

Opposition parties brought the motion after Zuma's abrupt recall of former finance minister Pravin Gordhan from an investor roadshow overseas, which preceded his midnight Cabinet reshuffle last week.

Zuma has won the day after a special extended ANC National Working Committee meeting rejected calls for him to step down.

The ANC, Zuma's party, also chastised three of its senior leaders who had, in a break from party tradition, openly criticized the president's actions last week.

Zuma, now in his second term, recently reshuffled his Cabinet, replacing finance minister Pravin Gordhan with the more loyal, but less experienced, Malusi Gigaba.

"There is no ANC member that will vote for an opposition motion", he said.

"The office of the ANC chief whip confirms the resignation of former deputy finance minister and ANC MP Cde Mcebisi Jonas as a member of parliament effective March 31", the ANC chief whip's spokeswoman Nonceba Mhlauli said.

Last week, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa called the sacking of Mr Gordhan "totally unacceptable".

They have drawn a line in the sand, with the ANC on one side and the people of South Africa fighting for jobs, economic growth and the Constitution on the other side.

"No army allows its soldiers to be commanded by the enemy general", Mantashe said, implying that any decision to unseat him would have to come from within the ANC itself. Opposition leader Mmusi Maimane said Monday that the marches are to protest Zuma's "hostile takeover" of the country's treasury by "corrupt forces".

Jonas was an outspoken critic of government corruption.

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe told a news conference in Johannesburg that the party wants Zuma to continue.

He said NWC had also reflected on the call by ANC's tripartite alliance partners - the South African Communist Party (SACP) and Cosatu - for the president to resign, and added that they will engage members on the matter.

Zuma's fresh "transformation" pledge has been criticised by opponents who say it is a populist attempt to win votes and vague rhetoric similar to many promises made since the end of apartheid in 1994. The move lead ratings agency Standard and Poor's (S&P) to downgrade the country's investment status to junk over concerns of political instability in the country.

  • Leroy Wright