Jacob Zuma resigns

After fighting charges of corruption and failure on the economic front, South African president Jacob Zuma has resigned after nine years in power. As his party, the African National Congress, was readying to pass a no confidence motion against him, he took the wise step of quitting on his own. He had actually been served with an ultimatum and had no alternative other than to resign. He was also having a running battle with the deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa who now becomes the interim president, till his formal confirmation in the post in a few days.  Zuma has assured his party that he will not try to split it, now that he is not in power. Zuma did the right thing by resigning with good grace as, having lost the confidence of his party, clinging to power would have destroyed whatever popularity or credibility he still enjoyed.
The ANC was having internal problems as was evident from what Ramaphosa said at the 54th session of the ANC held in December, last year. Addressing the delegates, he said:  “In the months and weeks before this Conference, speculation was rife that this . . .Conference would either not be held or that it would collapse.  Your attendancd at this Conference . . . is a victory over the doomsayers and those who do not wish our movement well.”  That the ANC has been able to sort out its internal problems and the transition from the old leadership to the new has been smooth shows the strength and resilience of the ANC.
One of the founders of India’s friendship with South Africa was none other than Mahatma Gandhi. It was in South Africa that Gandhi perfected his technique of non-violent non-cooperation against injustice. The very name of the ruling party, African National Congress, shows the influence India’s struggle for freedom and the founding of the Indian National Congress had on the native people of South Africa who were fighting to establish their own rule, to secure voting rights for the black and mixed Africans and, from the 1940s, to end Apartheid. Nelson Mandela, who was often called the Gandhi of South Africa and who trod the path of non-violent non-cooperation to secure his people’s rights, brought India and South Africa closer still. The two countries have been cementing their relationship over the years. Under the new South African president, the process is expected to develop further.

Sunday, 25 February, 2018