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

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video Survivor Video Testimonies Recount Horrors of Guatemalan Genocide

During a conflict that spanned more than three decades, tens of thousands of indigenous Mayans were killed More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs