South African President survives bid to oust him

South Africa’s governing Party, African National Congress, ANC has rejected a bid to oust the scandal-hit President Jacob Zuma.

A no confidence motion in Mr Zuma, tabled by a government minister, was defeated at a meeting of the ANC’s top leadership body.

Mr Zuma has faced a string of corruption allegations, with a recent report highlighting his links with the wealthy Gupta family.

He left for Cuba early on Tuesday to attend the funeral of Fidel Castro.

Mr Zuma has survived several opposition-sponsored no confidence votes in parliament.

This was the first time he faced a rebellion from senior ANC members who serve in his cabinet.

Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom tabled a motion calling for his sacking at a meeting of the party’s National Executive Committee.

Report says he was backed by several other ministers, including Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi, local media reported.

“The NEC did not support the call for the president to step down,” ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said.

“This issue was debated openly, robustly and, as we said, sometimes it was very difficult for members themselves,” he added.

Earlier this month, an investigation by South Africa’s anti-corruption watchdog said a judicial inquiry should be set up to further investigate allegations of criminal activity in Mr Zuma’s government.

Mr Zuma is accused of letting the Gupta family wield undue influence in his government.

Both Mr Zuma and the Guptas have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

The Guptas also denied offering Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas $44.6m (£36.2m) last year, if he accepted the post of finance minister and advanced their business interests.

Earlier this year, the Constitutional Court ruled that Mr Zuma had breached the constitution by failing to repay government money spent on his private home in rural Nkandla.

A High Court has also ruled that he should be charged with 783 counts of corruption in relation to a 1999 arms deal.

Mr Zuma has denied taking bribes, and has appealed against the ruling.

In August, the ANC lost control of the key cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria in local elections, for the first time since the end of white-minority rule in 1994.

Analysts say voters had punished the party for corruption, and its failure to act against Mr Zuma.

Mr Zuma was elected South Africa’s president in 2009, and his allies say he will step down at the end of his two terms in 2019.