Jacob Zuma refuses to resign and compares himself to Mandela, saying there must be 'transition' period

World

South Africa‘s President has refused to stand down, called his treatment “unfair” and said he has been “victimised.”

Speaking at length in an interview with state media, Jacob Zuma said he did not understand why he had been asked to step down. “What is this hurry?” he said.

Mr Zuma compared his position to the end of the presidency of Nelson Mandela, saying that the party then had a transition period with a handover of power. He asked why the ANC is not doing what it did 1999.

“There’s nothing I’ve done wrong,” Mr Zuma said. ”I don’t think it’s fair. I think it’s unfair.”

But he added he would “be out” if parliament passed a motion of no confidence in a vote on Thursday, adding he was willing to resign but wanted to stay a few more months in office. 

Motion of confidence against South African president Zuma falls

It comes after the ANC unveiled plans to sack Mr Zuma by backing an opposition-led no-confidence vote which will likely be held on Thursday. 

Jackson Mthembu, the ANC’s chief whip, said the deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, whose election as head of the ANC in December marked the beginning of the end of Mr Zuma’s tenure, could be sworn in as head of state as early as Friday.

“After we have voted for the removal of the President of the Republic tomorrow – and depending on the availability of the Chief Justice – we will also elect a new president,” Mr Mthembu told a news conference in Cape Town.

Earlier in the day, armed police raided the home of Mr Zuma’s associates, the Gupta brothers, as part of an investigation into corruption allegations.

Three people were arrested in operations at various addresses, the South African Broadcasting Corporation reported, saying a Gupta family member was among those detained. 

However, the family’s lawyer said none of the brothers had been arrested.

Both Mr Zuma and the Guptas, a family of wealthy Indian-born businessmen, deny any wrongdoing. 

Additional reporting by agencies

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