Leaders of South Africa’s ruling party African National Congress (ANC) have been asked to step down.
The call comes from a senior member of the governing party who said that fraud charges against finance minister Pravin Gordhan reflect an abuse of power to settle political scores within the party.
Jackson Mthembu, ANC’s parliamentary chief added, “with a minister being pursued for political reasons, and then charged with fraud…perhaps we are not the leadership that can take the ANC forward under these conditions.”
Mthembu further added that “president Jacob Zuma is the president of the ANC. When I said the entire ANC leadership that has already taken collective responsibility must take the fall, I meant everybody, myself included, including President Zuma.”
Media reports have indicated growing rifts within the party which has been in power since the end of apartheid in 1994.
Exacerbating the situation is economic stagnation , high unemployment rate and scandals around Zuma which led to ANC losing leadership in major cities in local elections held in August, changing the outlook for national elections to be held in 2019.