by oneafrikan on June 14, 2005
S.Africa’s Mbeki fires deputy Zuma
newspaper Tue June 14, 2005 8:50 AM GMT+02:00
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African President Thabo Mbeki has fired his deputy Jacob Zuma ahead of a special joint session of parliament on the matter, the Star newspaper reported on Tuesday.
It said senior government officials had confirmed the move. Officials were not available for immediate comment on Tuesday.
Zuma’s former financial adviser Schabir Shaik was found guilty of corruption and fraud this month in a Durban High Court ruling that also implicated Zuma, saying the relationship between the pair was corrupt, sparking calls for Zuma to resign.
But Zuma had refused to step down on the grounds that he believed he was not guilty of any crime.
Mbeki has called a special joint session of both houses of parliament for 2 p.m. (1200 GMT) on Tuesday where he is due to address the Zuma matter. Before that he was due to meet with the ANC’s ruling alliance partners, trade union federation COSATU and the South African Communist Party.
Shaik was jailed for 15 years on charges of paying Zuma 1.3 million rand over a number of years in return for using his political influence to further Shaik’s business interests, and of seeking a bribe for Zuma from a French arms firm in return for protection from a government probe into an arms deal.
This is big news if you’re even remotely connected to the African continent in some way. First off it sends a signal loud and clear to the South African people – corruption won’t do; it tells us something about President Mbeki himself; and thirdly it begs the question, “Who is next in line to be President of South Africa?”
These are interesting times…