Rand weakens as Zuma stays in office

Siphiwe Sibeko  Reuters                       Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema at a protest outside the Israeli embassy in Pretoria

In the run-up to the NEC's first meeting yesterday, it was believed that the matter would be addressed in relation to the future of President Jacob Zuma as the head of state.

The 75-year-old president has faced and denied numerous corruption allegations since taking office in 2009 and has survived several votes of no-confidence in parliament.

Mr Zuma's announcement came ahead of today's meeting of the top leadership body of the governing African National Congress (ANC). Media is also speculating that Cyril Ramaphosa, who defeated Zuma's preferred candidate, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, will be trying to force Zuma out of the presidency to clear the way for reform of the party, which is suffering erosion of electoral support.

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He said further delays in appointing the commission would make the public doubt the government's commitment to dismantling "all forms of corruption" and entrench "the perception" that the state has been captured by private interests.

Chief Justice Mogoeng has chosen his deputy, Ray Zondo, to head the inquiry, Mr Zuma said.

It also deeply divided the ANC, which has been in power since the end of white minority rule in South Africa in 1994. "His hand has been forced", said Mmusi Maimane, leader of the main opposition Democratic Alliance.

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Mr Zuma has been accused of conspiring with a wealthy business family, the Guptas, to control lucrative state contracts.

This is in contrast to the meeting at which former president Thabo Mbeki's recall was discussed, which reportedly went on for a day and ended after midnight.

"It is quite clear that Ramaphosa is not equal to the task of getting rid Zuma as the majority of the ANC is still made up of corrupt and selfish leaders who put filling their own pockets before the needs of the people‚" Van Damme said.

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Zuma, however, has shown no intentions of resigning.

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