South Africa's Ramaphosa says power transfer to be finalized

Feb 12, 2018, 00:31
South Africa's Ramaphosa says power transfer to be finalized

African National Congress (ANC) leader and South Africa deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, on Sunday revealed at the launch of the Mandela centenary celebrations in Cape Town that he was employing the late statesman's strategy of being "careful" when dealing with hard matters. It said the leaders, who have participated in discussions on Zuma's exit, dropped out because of "various other commitments".

The 75-year-old Zuma, in power since 2009 and mired in corruption allegations, has been living on borrowed time since Ramaphosa took over his other role as leader of the ruling party in December.

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.

South Africa's president-in-waiting Cyril Ramaphosa admitted Sunday to "disunity and discord" in the ruling ANC party as the deadlocked effort to oust scandal-tainted President Jacob Zuma grinds on.

Ramaphosa, Zuma's expected successor, set out a policy agenda for the year in his nationally televised speech, which marked the beginning of commemorations of the centenary of Nelson Mandela's birth on July 18, 1918. Speculation is swirling in the absence of any information about the talks; some wonder whether Zuma is pushing for immunity from prosecution in exchange for his resignation. Jailed for 27 years, the anti-apartheid leader addressed an ecstatic crowd from the balcony of Cape Town's City Hall on February 11, 1990 and was elected as South Africa's first black president four years later. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die, " said Mandela, who died in 2013 at the age of 95.

Mr Zuma is facing extensive corruption charges after a turbulent nine years in power. Newly published regulations will allow the inquiry's head, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, to collect evidence and summon witnesses to testify, the justice ministry said.

"We are determined to rebuild the confidence of our people in the public institutions of our country and to restore the credibility of those who are elected to serve in those institutions, " said Ramaphosa, a key negotiator during the transition from apartheid to democracy in the early 1990s who later became a wealthy businessman.

The rand, which has tended to strengthen on signs that Zuma could step down before his second term as president ends next year, rose yesterday as investors increased bets that Ramaphosa would be able to unseat the embattled president.

This, however, has not gone down well with both the opposition and his ANC party, thereby necessitating the current closed door talks to remove him from State House.

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