South Africa's new president vows to tackle corruption

South Africa's new president vows to tackle corruption
South Africa's new president vows to tackle corruption
Author

17 February, 2018

Mr Ramaphosa is South Africa's fifth president since the end of the apartheid system of white minority rule in 1994.

The former anti-apartheid resistance fighter, who has four wives, has been discredited by a number of corruption scandals and Mr Ramaphosa was chosen in December to replace him as ANC leader.

Former South African president Jacob Zuma. While the three brothers weren't directly named in the case, the South African police's investigative Hawks unit said on Thursday Ajay failed to turn himself in with regard to a separate probe and "is now regarded as fugitive".

Zuma could face corruption charges, including those connected to an arms deal two decades ago.

Mr Ramaphosa told parliament that corruption and state capture were "on our radar screen". By the end of the week, Ramaphosa is likely to be elected president by the ANC-dominated parliament and to give a state of the nation address that had been postponed during the political turmoil.

The election was mostly ceremony as Ramaphosa was the only candidate.

Less than a day after Zuma resigned Ramaphosa stepped into power, according to a report from CNN.

"I will try to work very hard to not disappoint the people of South Africa", he said amid loud cheers from lawmakers.

Parliament is set to elect a new president Thursday afternoon.

The sensational rise of the leftwing populist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party, led by the former head of the ANC youth wing, Julius Malema, is a clear indication that the ANC has lost the young generation nearly completely.

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The country's top court also ruled in 2016 that the President had violated the constitution when he used state funds to pay for multi-million dollar upgrades to his private home. But it won't be easy: Unemployment is now at almost 30%, a rate which rises to nearly 40% for young people. The nation's debt was a year ago downgraded to junk status by the Standard & Poor's and Fitch ratings agencies.

One of the first steps in improving the investor confidence is addressing the persistent claims of corruption at the heart of government.

Ordinary South Africans are hopeful that he will deliver on promises to create more jobs. They deny all allegations of wrongdoing.

At 1515 GMT, the rand was at 11.6600 against the dollar, having reached a session-best of 11.6025 earlier per cent stronger than its NY overnight close and at levels last seen in February 2015.

Some will miss him though, pointing to achievements like announcing the abolition of fees for higher education, says the BBC's Milton Nkosi in Johannesburg.

Mr Zuma was acquitted of rape, but was often mocked in newspaper cartoons and depicted with a shower nozzle sprouting from his bald head.

At the same time, he reflected the problems of a party that has struggled to transform itself from a liberation movement to a modern political party, and that has led, mostly unchallenged, for a quarter of a century. His tenure in office has been marred by several accusations of corruption.

The only member of the Gupta family to appear was Varun, who was Chief Operating Officer of the Gupta-owned mining firm Oakbay Resources and Energy.

"Well, of course, that's why they have been taken to court".


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