- Title: On South Africa's Mandela Day, ANC MP denounces "disgraceful" Zuma.
- Date: 19th July 2017
- Summary: JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (FILE - JUNE 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF ZUMA SINGING AND DANCING / ANC EXECUTIVE MEMBERS SINGING ALONG
- Embargoed: 2nd August 2017 09:03
- Keywords: Zuma state capture corruption Gupta motion of no confidence
- Location: JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
- City: JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
- Country: South Africa
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0066QDUJPZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: To his long list of detractors of all colours and political persuasions, South African President Jacob Zuma can now add one of his own MPs, a strident 47-year-old Zulu academic who is pushing for his removal in a no-confidence vote next month.
In a breach of party discipline that reveals the depth of anger within the African National Congress (ANC), backbencher Makhosi Khoza chose Nelson Mandela's birthday (July 18) to denounce the scandal-plagued leader as an insult to the memory of democratic South Africa's founding father.
"I honestly think that the ANC, the ANC mission has been hijacked. And specifically, I think the President (Zuma) has actually allowed that to happen because he is in the forefront, if he's not the champion of that."
Echoing the private, moral anguish of many ANC cadres who have watched Africa's oldest liberation movement decline under Zuma, Khoza - an ANC supporter since the age of 12 - said she could no longer follow the orders of a flawed leadership.
"I just feel that as the ANC, we seem to have, especially the collective - the leadership collective that I was talking about, it appears as though they are not prepared to be courageous and take that decision to say, 'Mr. President, you are compromising our mission'."
Zuma's eight years in office have been marked by economic stagnation and scandal - from a $16 million state-funded "security upgrade" to his home to allegations of graft involving his friends the Guptas, a family of Indian-born businessmen.
Both Zuma, 75, and the Guptas have denied any wrongdoing.
Zuma faces a no-confidence motion on August 8, the ninth time the opposition will have tried to unseat him by peeling off dissidents from the ruling party, whose majority has so far protected him by closing ranks.
Next month's vote is different - the Constitutional Court has cleared the way for the Speaker to allow a secret ballot, although it is not certain she will.
Khoza has made clear she will break ranks. If 50 of the ANC's 249 MPs follow suit, Zuma would be out.
Khoza said she did not know how many others would follow her lead, saying intimidation was preventing them from coming forward.
Mcebisi Jonas, a deputy finance minister axed by Zuma in March, told Reuters it was a "big number". He has since resigned as an MP.
One other ANC MP has told Reuters they would vote for Zuma's removal in a secret ballot. The South African Communist Party, whose 17 MPs back the ANC in parliament, said in April Zuma should resign.
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