Zuma drama overshadows South Africa's Mandela commemorations

South Africa’s political stalemate comes as the country readies celebrations marking 100 years since the birth of Nelson Mandela. – AFP

South Africa’s political stalemate comes as the country readies celebrations marking 100 years since the birth of Nelson Mandela. – AFP

In a speech at the event in Cape Town, Mr Ramaphosa said the key aim of transition talks was to unite South Africans.

Cyril Ramaphosa (C), South African Deputy president, and newly elected president of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) greets people during a church service at St Georgeís Cathedral, on February 11, 2018, in Cape Town.br / The top decision-making body of South Africa's ruling ANC will meet on February 12, 2018 following days of talks over President Jacob Zuma's expected departure from office, a party spokeswoman said.

He also acknowledged the disunity within the ANC but said Mr Mandela's centenary year "offers us a new beginning".

The NEC meeting in the Pretoria, the capital, was convened after Zuma defied calls by the party's top leadership to step down, according to four people familiar with the matter. "It is therefore important that we manage the discussions that are now underway with care and objective, ensuring that we place the interests of South Africa first". The political opposition criticized the private talks, saying the 75-year-old president may have been pressing for an "exit package" in exchange for his resignation.

'My everyday crush, she says referring to Zuma.It's going to be ugly.

"He must be prosecuted and, if found guilty, be locked up for his crimes, " the Democratic Alliance said.

In his speech, the deputy president said the government will wage a "relentless war against corruption and mismanagement of the resources of our country" and that the justice system will punish the guilty. Many former supporters in the ANC, the party of Mandela, want him to resign immediately so that they can try to recover the confidence of alienated voters.

The African National Congress's top six officials had been called into an urgent meeting with Zuma, Johannesburg-based broadcaster eNCA reported.

The timing and circumstances of the early exit of Zuma, who is under intense pressure to resign, pose a challenge for the party that was the main anti-apartheid movement during white minority rule and has led South Africa since the first all-race elections in 1994.

On the same day in 1990, Nelson Mandela spoke to euphoric crowds who filled the packed public square in front of City Hall, hours after his release from prison.

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.

"It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve". He died in 2013 at the age of 95.

"Comrades, let us now all disperse in an orderly fashion, " he said.

Latest News