South African markets strengthen on prospects of a Zuma exit

Wendy Jensen
January 24, 2018

"We haven't reached a decision that President Zuma must go or President Zuma must stay".

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported that the clock is ticking on president Jacob Zuma's scandal-ridden administration.

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule said the ruling party has not arrived at the decision wether Zuma should go or not, therefore, there was no timeframe given as to when Zuma should vacate his office.

Zuma's hold over the ANC was shaken when his chosen successor - his former wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma - lost out to Ramaphosa in the closely-fought race to be party leader.

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As well as deciding Zuma must step down on Friday, the ANC National Executive Committee suspended the party's pro-Zuma provincial executive committees in the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and Free State that the courts said weren't properly elected.

Zuma's exit would catapult Ramaphosa into the presidency and allow him to begin to fix an economy that suffered its second recession in nearly a decade in 2017 and has struggled to mount a strong recovery.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and his delegation will depart from Johannesburg on Sunday evening to participate at the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, the presidency said.

It could also boost the party's electoral chances next year because it would no longer be so closely associated with Zuma's legacy.

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Financial markets have warmed to Ramaphosa's pledges to kick-start economic growth and root out corruption, with the rand hitting a new 2-1/2 year high on Monday on hopes that Zuma will leave power soon.

Authorities said last week they had been granted authority to freeze millions of dollars worth of assets belonging to companies controlled by the Gupta brothers, who are friends of Zuma's.

He would not confirm whether a political deal would be offered to Zuma in return for his swift exit from office.

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