• President should step down in country's interest, Manuel says
  • Constitutional Court found Jacob Zuma violated constitution

Trevor Manuel, South Africa Africa’s former finance minister, called on President Jacob Zuma to resign after the Constitutional Court ruled that he had violated the constitution.

The court finding has precipitated “a deep crisis,” said Manuel, who served as finance minister from 1996 to 2009 and as a minister in Zuma’s office for the next five years. “I think it’s in all of our interests that the president actually steps aside,” Manuel said in an interview broadcast by Soweto TV on Tuesday.

The Constitutional Court ruled on March 31 that Zuma “failed to uphold, defend and respect the constitution” because he didn’t abide by graft ombudsman Thuli Madonsela’s 2014 directive to repay some of the 215.9 million rand ($14.4 million) of taxpayer money spent on renovating his private home.

While Zuma apologized for the frustration and confusion the scandal had caused, he said he acted in good faith and never intentionally did anything illegal. He pledged to comply with the court order to repay an amount that the National Treasury will set. The leadership of the ruling African National Congress has rejected calls by opposition parties to impeach Zuma.

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