Manuel Backs AngloGold Boss Call for S. Africa’s Zuma to Go

  • Veteran members of ruling party start Save South Africa group
  • Organization has ‘deep concern’ over state of the country

Former South African Finance Minister Trevor Manuel joined AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. Chairman Sipho Pityana and other veteran members of the ruling party in a call for President Jacob Zuma to step down, saying they have “deep concern” over the state of the country.

Save South Africa, whose members also include former Public Enterprises Minister Barbara Hogan, said it requested an urgent meeting with Zuma on Thursday to discuss his capacity to provide “the leadership that is required to chart a way to stability, economic growth and the rights and promises contained in the constitution,” the civil-society group said in an e-mailed statement.

Zuma, 74, has faced calls to quit since the nation’s top court ruled in March that he violated the constitution by refusing to repay taxpayer money spent on upgrading his private home. He’s spooked investors by sparring with Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan for control of the Treasury, tax-collection agency and state companies. He’s also fighting a lawsuit filed by opposition parties aimed at forcing prosecutors to reinstate 783 counts of graft against him that were dropped just weeks before he became president in 2009.

“We suggest, Mr. President, that you have put your personal interests ahead of the national interest, jeopardizing the independence of key institutions and you have consequently lost the confidence of the people of South Africa,” the group said in its statement.“The only honorable course of action open to you now is to resign.”

Save South Africa is planning a formal launch in coming weeks, it said.

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