South African President Jacob Zuma’s political future hangs in the balance tomorrow, as leaders of his own party — the African National Congress — meet to decide whether to force him out of office.
Zuma, who faces hundreds of corruption allegations, lost his bid to control the leadership of the ANC in an internal party vote late last year. And over the weekend he resisted informal efforts to get him to step aside before he delivers the state of the union address on Thursday.
The ANC’s new party head, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, has pledged to clean up corruption and bolster the economy. And as the beleaguered party of liberation tries to bolster its fortunes ahead of what will be a very competitive national election next year, getting the disgraced Zuma out of office sooner rather than later is a top priority for ANC leaders. If Zuma resists, buckle up for a deeper political crisis in Southern Africa’s largest economy.