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Zuma Said to Survive Calls to Quit in South Africa’s ANC

South African President Jacob Zuma survived calls to resign by members of the ruling party following his decision to fire his finance minister and stack the cabinet with loyalists, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. The rand pared earlier gains. At a Tuesday meeting in Johannesburg of the ANC’s National Working Committee,…”
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April 5, 2017 9:28 am

South African President Jacob Zuma survived calls to resign by members of the ruling party following his decision to fire his finance minister and stack the cabinet with loyalists, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. The rand pared earlier gains.

At a Tuesday meeting in Johannesburg of the ANC’s National Working Committee, Zuma rejected accusations that he hadn’t consulted adequately before a cabinet reshuffle that included the removal of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and received some support from members of the party’s so-called Top 6 officials, the people said, asking not to be identified because a public statement hasn’t been made.

The decision heightens chances that Zuma will survive an opposition-sponsored vote of no confidence in parliament if the leadership of the National Assembly allows it to go ahead. It came in the face of widespread criticism of Zuma’s cabinet changes that prompted S&P Global Ratings to downgrade the nation’s credit rating to junk and weakened the rand.

The president drew rare public criticism from Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and other senior party members, including ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe and Treasurer-General Zweli Mkhize, who publicly questioned the manner in which the cabinet changes were handled. Ramaphosa had called Zuma’s reasons for firing Gordhan “unacceptable.”

The meeting also slammed the Congress of South African Trade Unions, the nation’s biggest labor federation, and the South African Communist party, both allies of the ANC that called for Zuma to resign.

The rand pared gains against the dollar and was 0.2 percent stronger at 13.5757 at 10 a.m. in Johannesburg on Wednesday, after strengthening as much as 1.1 percent before the report.

Bloomberg

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