President Jacob Zuma
President Jacob Zuma

Zuma earns F- on DA's scorecard for 2016

By Emsie Ferreira Time of article published Dec 8, 2016

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Cape Town – The Democratic Alliance (DA) has failed President Jacob Zuma in its annual report card exercise, marking down his score to F- after a torrid year that has left him fighting pressure from within his own party to step down.

"It is not just us calling for him to go now, it is the whole country," DA leader Mmusi Maimane told reporters on Thursday.

Maimane said with the release of former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report on state capture, 2016 saw confirmation of suspicions that Zuma had traded the welfare of South Africans for the business interests of the influential Gupta family.

"The report confirmed what we already knew: President Zuma and the Guptas head up a public-private partnership that has been stealing billions of rands from the national purse – money that could otherwise be spent on tackling poverty and unemployment."

He said it was deplorable that Zuma was not only preparing to challenge the report but refusing to account to Parliament on its findings on the basis that it was "sub judice", even before he had approached the courts in this regard.

"The damning and incriminating findings in the report acted as the last straw for millions of South Africans who have had enough of Zuma's shenanigans... the President has jumped from one scandal to the next, barely surviving, the country is burning."

He said the Constitutional Court judgment ordering Zuma to repay state funds spent on his Nkandla home was the ultimate vote of no confidence in his leadership and the soon abandoned attempt to bring charges against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan was an attempt to gain control over National Treasury that had plunged the National Prosecuting Authority into crisis again.

The DA also gave the poorest mark possible to Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane and Cooperative Governance Minister Des van Rooyen who both sought to block Madonsela's report. It said Madonsela was damning in her finding that Zwane appeared to have flown to Switzerland to facilitate the Gupta's family coal dealings with Eskom and said he should resign or be fired.

Nine other ministers scored an F.

Among them was Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown, who the DA said was tainted by the state capture scandal and incapable of stemming the crises at state-owned enterprises, and Communications Minister Faith Muthambi, saying her greatest failing was the disarray at the SABC whose last remaining board member this week incurred the wrath of the ruling African National Congress for trying to halt a parliamentary probe.

Maimane said not all was "doom and gloom" in the DA's annual survey of the Cabinet as Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor and Gordhan rose above the rest with B scores.

He said Gordhan deserved credit for persuading ratings agencies not downgrade South Africa and for serving as the "last line of defence" against an apparent attempt by others members of the executive to plunder the state coffers.

African News Agency

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