South Africa’s political impasse deepened as Zuma clings to power

Vastavam web: South Africa’s political impasse deepened today with no resolution to extended talks over President Jacob Zuma’s expected departure from office after his own party called for him to resign.Cyril Ramaphosa, the president-in-waiting, and the ruling ANC party have said negotiations should be concluded within days, but have given no details about how Zuma will be eased out of power.Zuma cleared his diary of weekend engagements, but deputy president Ramaphosa is due to speak at a rally in the city tomorrow to start a year of celebrations marking 100 years since Nelson Mandela’s birth.

February 11 also marks the day that Mandela was released from jail in 1990 a key date in modern South Africa’s re- birth as apartheid white-minority rule crumbled.”A stalemate is the best description for the situation,” she told AFP.”Zuma is a fighter to the end and is refusing to resign, while Ramaphosa doesn’t want to be divisive.”Zuma pretended to open the doors of negotiations, but he is digging in.”

Local media reported that a key sticking point in talks was over legal fees faced by Zuma, who is set for prolonged court battles related to multiple criminal cases.Ramaphosa has made no official comment since Wednesday when he described the discussions as “constructive” towards securing “a speedy resolution of the matter.” Zuma has made no comment since being asked to resign by senior ANC officials last Sunday.

The pro-Zuma New Age newspaper reported yesterday that the president would gather his family at his residence in Pretoria this weekend to inform them of his decision.His hold on the ANC was shaken when his chosen successor his former wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma — narrowly lost out to Ramaphosa in a closely-fought race to be party leader in December.Zuma faces several court cases, including action relating to 783 payments he allegedly received linked to an arms deal before he came to power.

Many of the recent graft allegations are linked to the Guptas, a wealthy Indian business family accused of improperly winning government contracts and influencing cabinet appointments.Under Zuma, the ANC suffered its worst electoral setback since coming to power in 1994, winning less than 54 percent of the vote in municipal elections in 2016.The Nelson Mandela Foundation, which promotes the legacy of South Africa’s anti-apartheid icon, has called for Zuma to go as he had “demonstrated that he is not fit to govern