Dishonorably Discharged: Jacob Zuma is Being Overthrown in South Africa


South African president Jacob Zuma is in danger of being impeached. His competitor Cyril Ramaphosa, along with the opposition, have tried nearly all ways to make him leave ‘honourably’. Now, radical actions are possible. has written before about attempts to impeach Zuma. Currently, the main formal claim against Zuma consists of the large amount of money (around 15 million euro) that the president spent on construction work in his private apartments.

At the end of March 2017, the court forced Zuma to compensate part of the expenses, which the president did by paying 500 thousand euros. But the attack on the president is continuing and his opponents are ready to see it through to the end.

Not the first attempt

In December, the South African Supreme Court decided that, in according to current legislation, the parliament does not have the right to hold Zuma accountable for a corruption scandal.

On the one hand, the court protected the president from a quick impeachment; on the other hand, it gave parliament the opportunity to construct a quicker procedure.

Zuma’s opponents have given a vote of no confidence against him several times already. Proposals were made to government, but they did not reach anything substantial. The last serious attempt to vote for the removal of Zuma was undertaken in August, but this try too turned out to be unsuccessful. In case of a majority vote, the president and his cabinet would have to retire; the president would be replaced by the head of government for 30 days.

The ‘Economic Freedom Fighters’ (local leftists) proposed a new motion for a vote of no confidence, which will be discussed in parliament on the 22nd of February.

In what cases could an impeachment take place?

According to local legislature, three cases can be the basis for an impeachment:
-a serious breach of the constitution;
-serious illegal action;
-the president’s inability to fulfil his duties.

In order for an impeachment to take place, 267 members of parliament must vote in favour.

Resignation scenarios

The first variant is a voluntary stepping down (which would give carte blanche to Ramaphosa’s opposition).

The second variant is a forced removal by the National Executive Committee (NEC, the highest organ of the ruling ANC (African National Congress)), which is headed by Cyril Ramaphosa (who replaced Zuma in December).

According to experts, the second variant is not just bad for Zuma, but for the party as well. It could disunite the committee itself, while in the current crisis situation in several African countries, unity is extremely necessary. There already was a precedent for NEC involvement in the fate of the president in the case of former leader Tabo Mbeki, when, after declarations made by the committee (related to Zuma accusing Mbeki of corruption), Mbeki left his post with in September 2008 with nine months to go. From that point onward, the party has been suffering from internal conflict: seeing as it was initially created to fight apartheid, it united people with very different views from the far-left, far-right, and liberal groups.

What is more, if president Zuma himself refuses to leave, the party could provoke a vote against him.

In the case that Ramaphosa replaces Zuma, South Africa will probably stick to the globalist course. Ramaphosa is one of the wealthiest men in the republic and owns the South American chain of ‘McDonald’s’. He is also part of the board of directors of the local branch of the ‘Coca-Cola Company’. It is logical that with such a leader, South Africa’s sovereignty will come under threat.

About Zuma

Jacob Zuma became president in 2009 and began his second term in 2014.

The main claims against him are related to corruption; however, attempts to remove him are preferred by Western democratic society. It is important to note, that the atmosphere of protest is mainly fed by American networks and organisations (we have written in detail about this before).

Mass protests were held in 2016. The economic climate is a handy issue to critique Zuma on. The crisis is worsening because of draught and unemployment, and for the time being the only thing saving the situation is a successful upswing in the mining sector. Pro-Western forces are using this as an argument against Zuma, thereby feeding the discontent of the unemployed, unions, and the country’s youth.

Translated from the Russian by V.A.V.