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Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma

Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma South Africa's President Jacob Zuma resigned on 14 February 2018 effective immediately, bowing to pressure from the ruling ANC party as it pushed for a no-confidence vote on his beleaguered leadership. Speaking during a 30-minute national televised address, Zuma said that he had "come to the decision to resign as president of the republic with immediate effect". Zuma had remained defiant earlier in the day as the African National Congress (ANC) party pushed for a no-confidence vote to force him out, saying the treatment of him had been "unfair". The party said that President Jacob Zuma's "unreasonable, irrational and reckless" behaviour was a threat to state security and a danger to society.

South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) said 14 February 2018 the country can no longer continue waiting for President Jacob Zuma to quit and that it will back an opposition-led no-confidence vote in the country's parliament to oust its former leader. But barely an hour after the ANC's treasurer general, Paul Mashatile made the announcement, the embattled Zuma broke his silence on Wednesday in a live interview with state broadcaster SABC as the nation awaited word on whether he would obey a ruling party order to leave office. He said that he did not know why he was being recalled by the party and that he had done nothing wrong.

"I need to be furnished on what I have done. Unfortunately, no one has been able to provide what I have done," he said. Zuma went further to say that he was being unfairly treated and that party leaders had not followed the right protocol to discipline him.

South Africa’s ANC party confirmed 13 February 2018 it had decided to “recall” scandal-tainted President Jacob Zuma from office but said there was no deadline for him to resign, pitching the country into further uncertainty. The ANC party can “recall” the head of state, but the process is a party-level instruction and Zuma is under no constitutional obligation to obey.

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule told reporters that Zuma had “agreed in principle to resign and had proposed time frames extending from three to six months”. But Magashule said there was no date for Zuma to stand down, and added that there would be “continuing interaction” between party officials and Zuma.

“In its wisdom, the NEC (National Executive Committee) decided… to recall its deployee Jacob Zuma,” Magashule told reporters. “The decision by the NEC to recall its deployee was taken only after exhaustive discussion on the impact such a recall would have on the country.” The ANC party can “recall” the head of state, but the process is a party-level instruction and he is under no constitutional obligation to obey.

Zuma could take his cue from the "graceful exit of Thabo Mbeki in 2008" rather than clinging to power. Mbeki, Zuma's predecessor, stepped down in 2008 after being similarly recalled by the party's national executive committee. Zuma’s supporters pushed out Thabo Mbeki via a “recall” over allegations of abuse of power.

On 12 February 2018 the African National Congress (ANC) gave President Jacob Zuma 48 hours to resign as head of state or he will be recalled. The decision came after the ruling party’s national executive committee (NEC) held a six hours marathon session citing that Zuma’s nine years in power has led to rampant political corruption and economic decline. The ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, went directly to Zuma’s office in Pretoria to tell him that the head of state should resign or face a non-confidence parliamentary vote. Opposition parties, such as the Democratic Alliance were calling for parliament to be dissolved in addition to Zuma stepping down. Ramaphosa had been calling for Zuma’s resignation since December when the former became deputy president of South Africa.

Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, an arrogant and petulant leader, was the President of the Republic of South Africa since 9 May 2009 and the President of the African National Congress (ANC) since 20 December 2007. South Africa's populist but often criticized president was re-elected head of the ruling party on18 December 2012, which made him certain to win another term as the nation's leader in 2014. Delegates of the African National Congress voted overwhelmingly for five more years of Jacob Zuma. Zuma’s supporters were heard before they were seen. Dancing their way into the African National Congress meeting on the campus of the University of the Free State on Tuesday, they sent a message of support through song.

Zuma is a large man with a large personality and a ready smile on his lips that rarely reaches his dark, veiled eyes. Zuma is politically astute, despite his lack of formal education. Zuma's sheer likability has changed public opinion. Zuma is universally "likable," even by those who don't want to like him. Zuma is a "negotiator, a leader, an intelligence chief, and a unifier." Humility sets Zuma apart from others, most obviously Mbeki. Zuma, as leader of the ANC during a period that saw Mbeki forcibly recalled, has had his leadership skills tested as no party leader has before him.

Zuma is a controversial but not well understood personage who emerged from obscurity to where he now occupies the apex of South Africa's political pyramid. He is deeply loved and revered by his closest constituencies; he is mistrusted by opposition parties; and is hated by those here who believe he is "wrong for South Africa." Zuma has combined the force of being an affable, dancing bureaucrat with the force of being a popular Zulu to change the face of the ruling party.

Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma was born in 1942 in Inkandla, KwaZulu Natal to Gcinamazwi and Nokubhekisisa Zuma. Zuma, on the other hand, lost his father during World War II. His mother resorted to domestic employment to keep the family together. For Zuma, there was no chance to acquire an education. By age 15, he was doing odd jobs to supplement his mother's income. Zuma was forced to work odd jobs from a young age to supplement his mother's meager income -- as a herd boy, a gardener, a domestic, in tea houses, and small shops. He faced the same problems of life of all Africans in the apartheid state. In the rural, pastoralist cattle culture of the Zulu, Zuma's first job as a herd boy linked him to an ancient traditional occupation of African boys throughout the continent. He once wrote, "I used to look after them (the cows) very well. That was the first time I was praised for a job well done."

Forced by circumstance to educate himself - his father had died and his mother could not afford to pay for formal schooling - he established an informal school in his village. Not unusual for the times, as an unregistered African, Zuma only achieved schooling to Form III, or Fifth Grade equivalent. However, friends and relatives recognized his hunger for learning and helped him with what they had learned. He claims to be self-taught and that he taught himself to read and write. In his teens, in 1955, a cousin encouraged him to attend night school in Durban. In this era, African churches, trade unions, and civic organizations offered educational opportunities to their members that were otherwise lacking from the state. Throughout South Africa and beyond, Zuma's life exemplified the distinction between education and intelligence -- the former he lacked, the latter he had in abundance. In 1985, in a biography penned for the Communist Party, he said he was self-educated up to the Junior Certificate level. Later in his life he said, "Education is education whether it is formal or not." He continued, "I have done everything that the educated have done." Influenced by a trade unionist family member, he became involved in politics at an early age, joining the ANC in 1958. In 1961, the year Nelson Mandela was arrested and jailed, Zuma was 19 years old and committed to fighting apartheid. That year, in Durban, he began courses with SACTU on Marxism-Leninism, the labor theory of value, and political discussions about colonialism, imperialism, the anti-colonial movement, and the nature of the struggle inside South Africa. While a member of a political study group in 1962, the year Mandela was sentenced to life in prison, Zuma was recruited into the militant armed wing of the ANC -- Umkonto wa Sizwe (the Spear of the Nation, aka "MK"). The following year, he was recruited into the SACP, though in his words, he did "little party work." It was Zuma's associations with these organizations at this critical tipping point in South Africa's history that became the guiding commitment of his QAfrica's history that became the guiding commitment of his life up until today. While leaving the country in 1963, he was arrested with a group of 52 recruits near Zeerust, and sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment on Robben Island. After his release, President Zuma helped mobilise internal resistance and was instrumental in the re-establishment of ANC underground structures in the then Natal between 1974 and 1975.

Zuma left South Africa in 1975 and for the next 12 years was based in Southern Africa, first in Swaziland and then Mozambique. During this period he was involved in underground work with former President Thabo Mbeki and others, giving leadership to ANC structures operating inside South Africa. He also dealt with the thousands of young exiles that poured out of South Africa in the wake of the Soweto uprising in June 1976. He became a member of the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) in 1977. By the end of the 1980s he was head of the ANC Intelligence Department.

Following the unbanning of the ANC in February 1990, he was one of the first ANC leaders to return to South Africa to begin the process of negotiations with the then apartheid regime. Like other leaders involved in talks he had to convince the ANC membership and support base of the need to negotiate with an apartheid regime that was intent on maintaining its power and influence.

Zuma was instrumental in organising the Groote-Schuur Minute between the De Klerk government and the ANC that reached important decisions about the return of exiles and the release of political prisoners. His strategic thinking and conflict resolution skills played a pivotal role in ending conflict in KwaZulu Natal and the then PWV region, where state-sponsored violence was tearing communities apart.

In 1991, at the first ANC conference held in South Africa since 1959, he was elected Deputy Secretary General and after the 1994 elections, he requested to be deployed to KwaZulu Natal to work to cement peace between the ANC and Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP). He joined the provincial government as MEC of Economic Affairs and Tourism. He played an instrumental role in normalising relations within the multiparty government of the ANC and IFP.

As MEC, President Zuma worked hard to develop the tourism industry in the province and was highly regarded by the sector. He created a good working relationship between business and labour, and worked tirelessly to facilitate new investments into the KwaZulu Natal economy. In 1994, he was elected ANC National Chairperson. An exception was made in the ANC Constitution to allow him to serve as both provincial chairperson and National Chairperson.

He was elected ANC Deputy President in December 1997 and he served as Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa from 1999 until June 2005. During his tenure he distinguished himself in his role as mediator and facilitator of peace on the continent, especially in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

As Leader of Government Business, he worked to ensure good working relations between government and political parties in Parliament, and between Parliament and the Executive. He kick-started the process of promoting positive values through the launch of the Moral Regeneration Movement. In 1998 he established the Jacob Zuma RDP Educational Trust Fund. The fund has educated more than 20,000 children at primary school level to university. Beneficiaries are primarily from impoverished backgrounds in rural areas.

Former SAG Deputy President (and still ANC Vice President) Jacob Zuma faced corruption and fraud charges. Zuma's legal problems that threatened his chance at the presidency stemmed from allegations of corruption in the controversial arms deal of the late 1990s. Then SAG Deputy President Zuma was first accused of involvement in bribery and corruption in 2001 as the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) filed charges against Zuma's friend and advisor, Shabir Sheik, who was sentenced to prison in 2006. In 2005, President Mbeki removed Zuma as SAG Deputy President, and the threat of prosecution continued to hang over him.

Zuma also faced criminal charges for rape, which arose after his dismissal. The rape trial began 13 February 2006. Jacob Zuma's acquittal on rape charges and the subsequent May 14 National Executive Committee (NEC) decision to let him resume his duties have strengthened Zuma's hand in his quest to succeed Mbeki as ANC president in 2007.

ANC Deputy President Jacob Zuma, could be both charismatic and politically gauche. Zuma's appeal extends far beyond ethnic boundaries and includes many in the ANC who feel disenfranchised by Mbeki. Zuma had substantial grassroots support, and not just in KwaZulu-Natal. While it is true that some of Zuma's base comes from those who dislike Mbeki and his policies, Zuma's anti-poverty message and personal story (rising from humble beginnings) resonates with South Africans, particularly in poor communities. Contrary to Mbeki's aloof style, Zuma has the "common touch" with the people, like Mandela. Mbeki's supporters tend to dismiss Zuma's popular appeal, which was a mistake. Though press reports often implied that Zuma's strong support base hinges on KwaZulu-Natal, it extends much further than the most fervent supporters dressed in traditional outfits outside the courtroom. Zuma attracts both uneducated exiles and black bourgeoisie who do not want Zuma to change ANC policy as much as they want to benefit from it in the way others within the ANC have. They are hitching their hopes to Zuma, believing he can make up for what they feel has been denied to them by Mbeki.

Zuma was elected ANC President in December 2007, becoming the ANC's candidate for South African president in the 2009 elections. At the congress in Polokwane, Zuma soundly defeated Mbeki for the party presidency with the backing of the ANC's Youth League, the ANC's Women's League, the Congress of South African Trade Unions, and the South African Communist Party. The defeat of Mbeki by Zuma in December 2007 in Polokwane as the ANC party president was directly related to his support by anti-Mbeki elements within the ANC, but particularly the SACP, COSATU and the ANC's Youth League (ANCYL). His victory over Mbeki began a realignment of the party's leadership, philosophical orientation and shifted policy goals away from Mbeki's market/trade-oriented economic policy as well as his internationalism, replacing it with an ambitious and self-conscious domestic focus on the interest of the poor inside South Africa.

The decision by the National Prosecuting Authority to re-file corruption charges against Zuma days after his electoral victory instantly intensified the polarization between Zuma's and Mbeki's factions within the party. Many ANC supporters accused Mbeki of politically interfering to carry out his grudge against Zuma. While stopping short of declaring him innocent of any crime, Zuma supporters ardently accused Mbeki of fomenting a political conspiracy to "persecute" Zuma with new corruption charges designed to deny his national presidential aspirations.

The anxiously awaited start of Zuma's criminal trial in August 2008 was again put on hold as Zuma's legal team filed a petition at the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court. This petition asked that the charges be dropped because the NPA failed to consult with Zuma before re-filing corruption charges in December. Zuma's lawyers further claimed that their client was a victim of a political conspiracy led by the SAG with the goal of precluding Zuma's "rightful" elevation to the state presidency. Legal proceedings were suspended until mid-September when the ruling on Zuma's petition was expected.

In the following weeks, the ANC alliance partners -- led by Julius Malema of the ANC Youth League, Blade Nzimande of the South African Communist Party (SACP), and Zwelinzima Vavi of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) -- engaged in a national campaign of direct action and intimidation in Zuma's defense. They declared that: Zuma was innocent until proven guilty; they were prepared to die or kill for Zuma; he was a victim of political persecution; he could not get a fair trial; the courts were corrupted by political influence; those opposed to Zuma's aspirations for national leadership were "counter-revolutionaries" and "would be crushed"; and a political solution (often defined as dropping all charges) should be found for this political trial. Most alarming to South Africans, several leaders of this campaign warned that if Zuma was found guilty, they would make South Africa ungovernable and there would be "blood on the floor."

High Court Judge Chris Nicholson's ruling on Zuma's appeal in September 2008 was described as a "political Tsunami" that changed South Africa's political culture. Within ten days, intra-ANC maneuvering resulted in Mbeki being forced to step down just seven months before his second term was to end. The following day, a third of his cabinet resigned in solidarity with him. Three days later, Motlanthe the long serving, well-respected former ANC General-Secretary and new Deputy President, became South Africa's third president in the post-apartheid era.

The SACP, COSATU, and the ANCYL were the most adamant and influential proponents of a more socialist, left-leaning policy orientation that distrusts the market, is uncomfortable with capitalism, is resistant to comprehensive privatization of state enterprises, and believes in state intervention in the economy to support the interests of the poor; and the use of state resources to expand welfare subsidies for poor communities and households. Zuma is deeply indebted to the ANC alliance partners for his rise as ANC President, and these allies believe they now have a leader through whom they can achieve their political goals.

The election of Zuma as ANC leader, supported aggressively by the ANC's alliance partners, was followed by a systematic purge of Mbeki's supporters within the Cabinet, the Parliament, the civil services, the provinces and party structures. The forced resignation of Mbeki in September 2008 led to ultimate victory for Zuma's faction within the ANC, all but guaranteeing Zuma's rise to be the next President of the Republic.

He initially spent a great deal of time engaging diverse constituencies -- i.e., investors, Afrikaners, civil society groups, Hindus, Muslims, foreign leaders, etc. -- reassuring them that his administration would be no threat to their interests. As an unintended consequence, Zuma has come to be perceived as a politician who tells each constituency exactly what they want to hear, raising doubts about his veracity and what he actually believes.

The legal saga surrounding African National Congress leader, and future South African President, Jacob Zuma continued on 06 April 2009 as the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) dropped its case against the former Deputy President. Acting NPA Director of Public Prosecution Mokotedi Mpshe concluded that clandestine tapes recently acquired by the NPA through Zuma's legal team shows that the state politically interfered in the legal process to bring charges against Zuma. The transcripts of clandestinely acquired tapes of conversations between the former Director of the Directorate of Special Operations Leonard McCarthy and former NPA chief Bulelani Ngcuka that Mpshe says demonstrate how the state politically interfered to bring charges against Zuma. The tapes were submitted to the NPA by Zuma's legal team as a way to show how the former Deputy President is the victim of a political conspiracy. The NPA charged Zuma with fraud, corruption, money laundering, and racketeering in December 2007, but the state had been investigating allegations surrounding the former Deputy President for nearly 8 years. Mpshe said that given the evidence of the tapes, it is neither "possible nor desirable" for the NPA to pursue the prosecution of Zuma and others.

The ANC held its 98th anniversary celebration in Kimberley on 09 January 2010. More than 30,000 party members attended the event to hear speeches from President Jacob Zuma and leaders of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and South African Communist Party (SACP). Zuma's speech centered specifically on the need for a strong partnership between the ruling party, unions, and communist party. Addressing the roughly 30,000 party members at the stadium, Zuma said "all party members must be united behind a program of action developed by the ANC and its allies." He added, We will be consistent and firm in acting against abuse of leadership positions or personal gain and factionalism." Zuma also noted the working relationship between alliance partners has improved greatly. He stated, "We consult each other and work together on key issues that affect our people as we should." The ANC leader read his remarks from a text, after which he began dancing to his trademark "Bring Me My Machine Gun" song. Zuma's dance was the only event that compelled all party members -- including communist party members -- to stand in unison.

Zuma solidified his position at the top of the party. One of the most intriguing themes to emerge from the celebration is how Zuma has come to personify the ANC so completely, so quickly. All of the speakers included deferential remarks to Zuma, calling him "Comrade President" or "Comrade Chair." All of the speakers at some point turned to him directly when they made their remarks. Moreover, all of the speakers reaffirmed their staunch support for Zuma and his leadership.

American historian Richard Hofstadter once wrote that the American political system often is characterized by the tension between leaders with an "intellectual elitism" and those who appeal more directly to the "common man." Such tension is new to South African politics. Zuma, often portrayed as a "country bumpkin," is popular because ordinary South Africans can relate to him. In a sense his appeal is a dumbing down of the ANC's intellectual traditions even more than what happened under Mbeki, but this appeal is very real. Mbeki was a statesman. However, that is not what people want. They want someone they can connect with.

The South African magazine "YOU" is published in Afrikaans and English, is probably most comparable to People Magazine in the US, and has a readership of 2.1 million. A July 2007 magazine article linked Zuma to a number of women:

  1. The mother to be of Zuma's 18th child was 35-year old Thobeka Stacy Mabhija, a former cell phone company administrator from Durban who had reportedly been Zuma's girlfriend for the past ten years.
  2. Sizakele Gertrude Khumalo: They met in 1959 and she still lives in Nkandla, Zuma's hometown in Kwa-Zulu Natal. She was pregnant once but miscarried. They have no children and are still married.
  3. Kate Mantsho: She was a stewardess for a Mozambican airline and committed suicide in 2000 by taking an overdose of malaria and sleeping pills. Her suicide note allegedly said she experienced "24 years in a bitter and most painful" marriage. They had five children: Saady, twins Duduzile and Duduzane, Phumzile, and Vusi.
  4. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (Minister of Foreign Affairs): They married in 1982 and divorced in 1998. Their four children are Thutu, Gugu, Thuli, and Msholozi.
  5. Minah Shongwe: Minah is the daughter of Judge Jeremiah Shongwe, who recused himself from Zuma's rape trial last year on the basis that he was the uncle of Zuma and Minah's son, Edward. Edward was arrested in 2001 after being accused of raping a 17-year old fellow student at the University of Zululand. He was released on bail and never prosecuted after the alleged victim withdrew the charge.
  6. Unknown woman from Johannesburg with whom he has three children, Bridget and a twin son and daughter. The children have lived with Zuma's current girlfriend Mabhija.
  7. An unknown woman in Richards Bay with whom he has a daughter Jabulile.
  8. A woman known as MaNtuli, in Nkandla, with whom he has a daughter.
For those who already consider themselves pro-Zuma, the pending birth will have little to no impact on their support. After all, children are a sign of prosperity and wealth and a blessing from God and ancestors in Zulu culture. However, for those who do not like Zuma, the latest news would confirm his reputation (rightly or wrongly) as a man with little control and poor judgment, especially since his ability to support his children has been cited as one of the possible reasons he accepted money from his convicted friend and financial advisor Schabir Shaik.

Zuma apologized February 07, 2010 for fathering a child with a woman who was not his wife. After Zuma presented the State of the Nation address, COPE intended to present a Motion of No Confidence against Zuma due to his personal behavior, focusing on the fact that Zuma had recently fathered another illegitimate child. At that time Zuma, a Zulu traditionalist who practices polygamy, had three wives, a fiancée [whom he later married], and 20 children [by 2011, he had 22]. Zuma was criticized for setting a bad example in a country where large numbers of people are infected with HIV/Aids. In 2009 the daughter of a World Cup chief gave birth to a baby girl believed to have been fathered by Zuma. Under Zulu law he can have as many wives as he wants.

On March 19, 2014 South Africa's top anti-corruption official accused President Jacob Zuma of misconduct for accepting a state-funded $23 million upgrade to his home. The report from Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said the president should repay some of the cost for the makeover of his compound in Nklanda, KwaZulu-Natal province. The upgrade, which the government said was done for security reasons, included the installation of a swimming pool, cattle corral and an amphitheater.

“Pay Back the Money" had become a rallying cry in South Africa for politicians and citizens who want President Jacob Zuma to pay back some of the $20 million in public money spent on upgrades to his private homestead. But in May 2015, the nation's police minister cleared Zuma of any responsibility, saying the upgrades, which included a swimming pool and a cattle enclosure, were necessary for presidential security. South Africa’s police minister declared that Zuma does not have to pay back any of the $20 million in government money that was used for improvements on his private homestead.

South Africa's top court ruled 31 March 2016 that Zuma violated the constitution by ignoring the state anti-corruption agency's recommendation that he return part of the $20 million spent on his home improvements. Under the court's ruling, the national treasury will decide which of the upgrades at Zuma's house were related to security, and will order Zuma to reimburse the cost of any other expenses, such as the swimming pool and a cattle enclosure.

South Africa's opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) on 31 March 2016 proposed a motion in parliament to impeach President Jacob Zuma. The move followed a Constitutional Court ruling Thursday that said Zuma should pay part of the $16 million of public funds used to renovate his private home in Nkandla, according to James Selfe, chairman of the DA's federal executive, which deals with legal matters. Supporters of the ANC say it is unlikely the party's lawmakers will back the impeachment proceedings against Zuma. They cited previous attempts by the opposition DA after it moved a vote of no confidence in Zuma, which eventually failed.

South Africa's top court ruled 31 March 2016 that Zuma did violate the constitution by ignoring the state anti-corruption agency's recommendation that he return part of the $20 million spent on his home improvements. Under the court's ruling, the national treasury will decide which of the upgrades at Zuma's house were related to security, and will order Zuma to reimburse the cost of any other expenses, such as the swimming pool and a cattle enclosure.

On April 01, 2016 President Zuma apologized for spending more than $20 million in state funds on his private residence, but he did not, as some had predicted, offer to step down to atone for his actions. Addressing the country in a nationally televised speech, Zuma said he had acted "in good faith" and denied any wrongdoing was involved when he used state funds to add a swimming pool and amphitheater to his private residence.

Opposition leaders called for Zuma’s impeachment, but that seems unlikely. Impeachment requires a vote by two-thirds of South Africa’s parliament, in which Zuma’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) party holds a large majority of seats.

Zuma's time in office had been mired in numerous controversies and increasingly his fellow ANC lawmakers and activists called on him to step down. Three of the South African president's Cabinet ministers called 27 November 2016 on scandal-plagued Jacob Zuma to resign. Local media say Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, and Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi called on Zuma to step down at a meeting of the ruling African National Congress. The president still enjoyed support from the rank-and-file ANC members and some of its lawmakers.

On 30 March 2017 President Jacob Zuma fired five ministers and 10 deputy ministers from his cabinet in a major reshuffle which the governing ANC party criticised. The sacking of Pravin Gordhan, the finance minister, seen as a steady and reliable hand in policymaking by investors, came as part of a wider cabinet reshuffle, the latest chapter exposing deepening rifts and divisions within the government. The sacking of Gordhan had serious consequences for the country's economy and deepened the rift within the ruling African National Congress (ANC). Since Gordhan’s dismissal, a leading financial agency, S&P Global Ratings, downgraded South Africa's credit rating to "junk" status. They blameed political uncertainty and the abrupt sacking of Gordhan. Two of the main opposition parties, the Democratic Alliance and Economic Freedom Fighters, said they would call for a vote of no-confidence against Zuma. Julius Malema, leader of the ultra-left Economic Freedom Fighters and a former protege of Zuma, filed a court application for disciplinary or impeachment proceedings against the president.

The Democratic Alliance (DA), South Africa's largest opposition party sought to bar President Jacob Zuma from sacking Gordhan. The DA filed a suit against the president in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. Firing Gordhan - himself from the ANC - was "irrational, and therefore unconstitutional, unlawful and invalid," said the DA's request.

On 04 April 2017 South Africa's largest trade union joined calls for President Jacob Zuma to step down. While the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) had vigorously defended Zuma in the past, they now said they have lost confidence in him after Gordhan's dismissal. "The time has arrived for him [Zuma] to step down and allow the country to be led forward by a new collective at a government level," Cosatu said in a statement. Cosatu criticised Zuma's move saying it no longer believed in his ability to lead, and that it wanted to restructure its alliance with the party. Cosatu is in an alliance with the ANC and the South African Communist Party, which had already called for Zuma’s resignation.

This added pressure on the ANC's top officials, many of whom remained divided on Zuma. Half of the ANC's top six group of officials including Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Secretary General Gwede Mantashe have publicly criticised Gordhan's sacking. But Zuma, also one of the top six, has the support of two other members and influential groups within the ANC. South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa criticised the cabinet purge and said the sacking of Pravin Gordhan was "unacceptable." The influential ANC Youth League, however, issued a statement backing Zuma's planned cabinet changes.

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