Three of the South African president’s Cabinet ministers have called on scandal-plagued Jacob Zuma to resign. Local media say Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, and Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi called on Zuma to step down at a meeting of the ruling African National Congress, or ANC, over the weekend that was extended into Monday. Political analyst Ranjeni Munusamy wrote on the Daily Maverick website that, “There is no doubt that Zuma is fighting for his political life.”
Zuma’s time in office has been mired in numerous controversies and increasingly his fellow ANC lawmakers and activists have called on him to step down. “He is hanging on while it is clear that large sections of the ANC and alliance no longer want him as president,” Munusamy said. “The countdown to Zuma’s exit has begun.” His exit, however, might not be as swift as some would like. The president still enjoys support from the rank-and-file ANC members and some of its lawmakers. He survived a no-confidence vote in parliament earlier this month. The main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, presented the motion, arguing that indications Zuma allowed the powerful Gupta family to choose Cabinet members shows he is a threat to the country’s stability. Zuma has also been fiercely criticized for using about $20 million in public funds for upgrades to his private rural home. He later apologized and agreed to repay a fraction of the money. The ANC, the party of Nelson Mandela, came to power after apartheid ended in 1994.