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First, we had Jacob Zuma saying the ANC would rule ‘until Jesus comes’, and now we have his faithful purser saying there’s ‘no chance in Hell,’ of a No Confidence motion vote succeeding in 11 days’ time. Bearing an uncanny resemblance to a Cheshire cat when he unleashes that broad smile of his, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, is deeply familiar with the broad church of his party’s lawmakers in parliament. When they’re told, they’ll sing from the same hymn sheet, whether they believe in eternal ANC life or not. More likely they’re afraid of the hell that would be unleashed on them if they were discovered to have backed the opposition parties, secret vote or not. No, Gigaba may be full of bluster and bonhomie and exaggerating, but he’s pretty much on the money. Rather leave it to AfriForum’s Gerrie Nel to deal with his erstwhile colleagues at the NPA when they refuse to prosecute their chief benefactor. Don’t build your hopes on a No Confidence motion. It’s the law and the Constitution – as always. – Chris Bateman
By Gordon Bell
(Bloomberg) – South African opposition parties will fail in their campaign to remove Jacob Zuma as president and the government won’t be distracted by protests against his leadership, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said.
“The African National Congress holds 62 percent of the vote in the National Assembly, so there is no chance in hell that the motion of no confidence will succeed,” Gigaba told reporters at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Durban, on South Africa’s east coast. The nation’s top court will hear opposition party arguments on May 15 to allow for a secret ballot in the planned no-confidence motion, Business Day reported. The groups hope an anonymous vote will encourage ANC lawmakers to support the motion.
Zuma, 75, has been dogged by scandal since he became president in 2009, and Gigaba is his fourth finance minister in less than two years. S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings Ltd. cut South Africa’s credit rating to junk last month after he fired Pravin Gordhan as finance minister, sparking protests by tens of thousands of people.
The government is focused on boosting economic growth and rebuilding confidence in the economy following the credit-rating downgrades, Gigaba said.
Zuma is due to step down as ANC leader at the party’s five-yearly elective conference in December. His successor will probably be the next national president when Zuma’s term ends in 2019, given the ANC’s dominance of politics in South Africa since the first all-race vote in 1994.
Only the ruling party will decide on Zuma’s position as president, Gigaba said in an earlier interview with Bloomberg TV.
“The president is going to serve his term until 2019,” he said. “Until the ANC changes its mind, the president will remain the president.”
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