Mandela Foundation Calls for South African President's Resignation

Mandela Foundation Calls for South African President's Resignation

South Africa's rand touched 2-1/2 month high against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday after a court ordered the release of a report over alleged influence peddling in government by close allies of President Jacob Zuma.

The investigation probed accusations that Zuma allowed a wealthy Indian business family to influence some cabinet post selections to benefit its own business interests.

The release of the 355-page report by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, who completed a seven-year term last month, was delayed in court because of efforts by Zuma and associates to block its release.

In March, the Constitutional Court ordered Zuma to repay some of $16 million spent on enhancing his Nkandla home in rural KwaZulu-Natal province.

"The President will give consideration to the contents of the report in order to ascertain whether it should be a subject of a court challenge", Zuma's office said. Zuma, who weathered a motion of no-confidence in parliament over the cost of the renovations, has since paid back more than $500,000 as required by the court.

The marches were originally planned to show support for Pravin Gordhan, the finance minister, who was due in court on Wednesday on separate corruption charges that many analysts see as an attempt by Zuma loyalists to remove him. Last year, some began calling for the president's resignation after he replaced his popular finance minister for what appeared to be politically-motivated reasons.


Opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Musi Maimane said state coffers were being "plundered" by "crooks", but the "good guys" were winning in the battle to safeguard the democracy which emerged in South Africa at the end of minority rule in 1994. There, protesters briefly clashed with police who set off stun grenades and fired rubber bullets.

"Protesters are blocking the streets into downtown with burning tires and they're pelting cars with stones, trying to intimidate people into staying home".

The supporters of the Economic Freedom Fighters party reportedly tried to storm the Union Buildings, the official seat of the government.

Zuma was forced to sack him four days later after South Africa's currency went into a tailspin.

The government said in a statement that South Africans have the right to protest peacefully and that police were prepared to act to protect property. Divisions within the African National Congress (ANC) have widened since the ruling party suffered its worst-ever local election results in August. He is scheduled to chair a forum in Harare on Thursday with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

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