The Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Finance and…
By Kurtis Adigba
Former President Jacob ZUMA, (yes you heard me right) was pushed by the ANC into resigning from his position as the president of the Republic of South Africa.
South Africa, operates a Parliamentary Democracy. Members of the parties are elected to the parliament, and the party with the majority in the parliament, forms the government. It follows therefore that the leader of the party with the majority in parliament, will be elected the president of the Republic. This is similar to what obtains in the United Kingdom. The difference between the two is that in the UK, the leader of the party with the majority will be Prime Minister, not president. The Queen or King, is the ceremonial president in the UK.
Since the abolition of minority rule in SA( Apartheid), the ANC- African National Congress has dominated power; from Presidents Nelson Mandela to Thabo Mbeki, and Jacob Zuma. The ANC, had dominated the parliament by winning overwhelming majorities in the parliament until the last election, in which the party won just about 61% of the votes, and seats in parliament. This was due to the several scandals plaguing President Zuma, and the divisions within the party. Zuma, was accused of abusing his power for personal profit, over inflating the cost of repairs of his personal property using government funds, and money laundering and corruption. The Gupta family( a powerful, corrupt, and rich Indian family) in SA were thought to be his fronts. They were so powerful to the point of winning every major government contract, and deciding on the choice of key cabinet ministers. Only this morning, the SA powerful anti-corruption police force, the Hawks, raided compounds belonging to the Gupta family, and arrested two members of the family.
Zuma’s divisive politics, ensured that the ANC became factionalized. Julius Malema, youth leader of the ANC, after series of confrontations with Zuma, left the party and formed the EFF. He is a sworn enemy of Zuma and has severally referred to Zuma as a criminal in parliament. There are also other factions of the party.
Zuma, was Deputy President to Thabo Mbeki until 2009 when he as leader of the ANC masterminded the recall of President Mbeki by the party’s NEC. Suspecting that he might be treated the same way Mbeki was, Zuma worked very hard to have his ex-wife elected as the president of the ANC. She lost to Cyril Ramophosa, the deputy president, and now, the president in waiting. From the moment Ramophosa was elected as president of ANC, Zuma knew he was in trouble. The party wanted a change just as the country. Zuma, had survived so many no confidence votes in the past because his party, ANC, was with him. But now, the leadership of the party, wanted a change, hoping that the fortunes of the party, will be better with Zuma gone. So, the party’s NEC huddled together in Cape Town for 24 hours, and after the meeting, demanded that President Zuma be recalled by the party from his position as the president of the Republic. When it became clear that he was not going to obey the demand from the party, the party teamed up with others to bring a vote of no confidence against the president in the parliament tomorrow. A vote of no confidence, is not an impeachment. It simply a political opinion, and so, no legal proofs or thresholds are required. In an impeachment, criminal allegations against the president must be proved beyond reasonable doubt. A vote of confidence, will remove the president without any criminal trial. Zuma, sensing that the game is up, threw in the towel by resigning from his position as president.
The ANC, was able to compel Zuma into resigning because the party is supreme , and higher than any of its members. This is different to what obtains in Nigeria. Once elected, the president, becomes the leader of his party, and can sack the leadership of the party at will.
In ANC, the president of the country, may not be the president of the party. Methinks we need to give supremacy to the political parties in Nigeria. The SC in Ameachi vs PDP said parties not candidates win elections. What do you think?
Kurtis Adigba is the Principal Partner at Kurtis Adigba and Company