Monday, April 04, 2016

South Africa's ANC Launches Campaign to Quell Internal Dissent
Paul Vecchiatto
April 4, 2016 — 8:11 PM EDT

ANC to explain support of Zuma to branches, veteran members

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress has started a campaign to pressure its lawmakers to stop plans to impeach President Jacob Zuma over public money used on his private home.

"We will explain our decision to the people, visit our party branches and talk to ANC stalwarts and veterans," the party’s secretary-general, Gwede Mantashe, told reporters after the party’s National Working Committee met in Cape Town.

The country’s constitutional court ruled that last week that Zuma violated the constitution by failing to repay some of the 216 million rand ($14.6 million) of public funds spent to upgrade his private residence. On Friday, Zuma apologized on national television.

Zuma is under pressure to resign or be removed from office from the public and a number of prominent people who played a role in the liberation struggle against whites-only apartheid rule that ended more than two decades ago.

The main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, has lodged a motion of impeachment against Zuma that’s due to be debated in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

"The constitution is very specific about the removal of the president -- it says there has to be a serious breach of the constitution or the law and the judgment does not use the word serious at all," Mantashe said, referring to the constitutional court’s ruling last week.

The ANC holds 249 of the 400 seats in the National Assembly.

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