BREAKING: Cosatu calls on Zuma to step down

OUTH Africa’s powerful trades union federation Cosatu has called for President Jacob Zuma to step down.

Its Secretary General Bheki Ntshalintshali said he is no longer the “right person” to lead the country.

Zuma has been under growing pressure following a major cabinet reshuffle which included the sacking of trusted Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

That led to South Africa’s credit rating being cut to junk status putting more pressure on a troubled economy.

Cosatu, a key part of the governing alliance, says it has 1.8 million members.

Last week, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa called the sacking of Gordhan “totally unacceptable”.

In a speech at the weekend, which has been interpreted as a public broadside against Zuma, he called for a renewal of the country and criticised “greedy and corrupt people”.

Former President Kgalema Motlanthe also said that it was difficult for Zuma to command respect after the constitutional court found him in breach of the law when he failed to repay government money spent on his private home.

South African government warns against illegal protests

JOHANNESBURG: The South African government says social media calls to hold protests against President Jacob Zuma on Friday are designed to damage the country’s image and economy.

The government on Monday evening referred to messages that it says have called for a “shutdown of the country,” and warned against any illegal protests that could lead to violence and destruction of property.

Several groups plan to demonstrate in the coming week to protest Zuma’s dismissal of the finance minister in a Cabinet reshuffle that increased concerns about government graft and ruling party infighting. The main opposition party plans a Friday march in Johannesburg.

South Africa’s rand tumbled Monday after Standard & Poor’s, a credit ratings agency, lowered the country to below investment grade, citing political instability and threats to economic growth

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