News / Africa

S. Africa Parliament Drops Presidential Corruption Probe Ahead of Polls

FILE: South Africa's President Jacob Zuma, right, jokes with his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, after Zuma's re-election in 2012. The ruling African National Party has delayed an inquiry into Zuma's spending.
FILE: South Africa's President Jacob Zuma, right, jokes with his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, after Zuma's re-election in 2012. The ruling African National Party has delayed an inquiry into Zuma's spending.
Anita Powell
South Africa’s ruling party has postponed a parliamentary inquiry into corruption allegations against President Jacob Zuma.  The African National Congress says the committee does not have time to consider the matter before the May 7 general elections.

Just six weeks after South Africa's top anti-corruption official issued a 400-page report detailing how Zuma used $23 million of public funds to renovate his private home, an investigative committee in parliament, which met only twice, dropped its inquiry.

The official reason: not enough time before voters elect a new national assembly and provincial legislatures.

Zuma’s deputy in the ruling ANC party dismissed opposition allegations that this is a political dodge.  

Postponing the inquiry is “a very practical decision,” said Cyril Ramaphosa , who will be the nation’s second-in-command if the ANC triumphs in the elections, as it is expected to.

The committee “would practically not be able to even complete the process of dealing with that report,” given its size, Ramaphosa said. “… So we are satisfied that this matter is going to be handled as we move on.”

Opponents of the ANC have criticized its record on unemployment, corruption and service delivery to poor South Africans. Many analysts expect the party's margin of victory in the elections to be smaller than normal.  But the party of the late Nelson Mandela appears to retain a hold on most South African voters.

Ramaphosa, a former union activist turned millionaire businessman, displaced  Zuma’s current deputy at the ANC’s national conference in 2012. That move puts Ramaphosa on a direct path to be the ANC’s presidential candidate if Zuma finishes a possible second term in 2019 or to inherit the presidential mantle if Zuma does not finish that term.

On Tuesday, Ramaphosa made light of his aspirations. 

“My great ambition is to be president of ... the golf club where I play golf.  That is my greatest dream,” he said. “… And I would also like to be president of my fishing club.  ... That is the sum total of my ambitions.”

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid