South African president says he is being victimized

South African president says he is being victimized

Pressure has been piling on Jacob Zuma to step down since Dec. 2017

By Hassan Isilow

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AA) - President Jacob Zuma said Wednesday he will not resign from office because leaders of his ruling African National Congress (ANC) have not given him reasons for any wrongdoing.

"I need to be furnished with what is it that I have done," the South African leader told state broadcaster SABC in an interview.

“Unfortunately nobody has been able to tell me what is it that I have done," he added.

His party announced Tuesday it had decided to remove Zuma, 75, whose second term in office as president would have ended in mid 2019.

Zuma said he is not defying his party by refusing to resign. “I have not defied the ANC, I have disagreed with a decision which I think is baseless."

He said he felt he was being victimized by top party officials handling his matter.

Pressure has been piling on Zuma to step down since his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa was elected party leader in December 2017.

Zuma’s State of the Nation Address was postponed by the parliament last week and an awards ceremony organized by the Foreign Affairs Ministry was also cancelled.

The ANC denies allegations that Zuma’s impending criminal charges have anything to do with the party’s decision to remove him.

“We should treat Zuma as president of South Africa, he has not been found guilty by any court,” ANC Secretary Ace Magashule said Tuesday, referring to the 783 criminal charges linked to a government arms deal procurement program in 1999.

The ANC has called for a motion of no-confidence against Zuma in the parliament on Thursday. In response, Zuma said it was the parliament which had elected him.

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