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Embattled Zuma to appear before ruling party's integrity panel

South Africa

South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) has confirmed that President Jacob Zuma will be questioned next week by the party’s integrity commission following persistent allegations of corruption and poor election results.

“He will be having a meeting with the IC,” ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe confirmed to Reuters on Friday, referring to the integrity commission. Zuma’s meeting with the commission is expected to be held on Dec. 3 behind closed doors even though Mantashe did not say what would be discussed at the meeting.

Zuma’s appearance before the panel could potentially deepen divides within the ruling party as it gears up for a national conference next year. The 74-year-old Zuma is expected to stand down as party leader.

Members of the ANC have been removed from their posts as a result of the commission’s recommendation. The ANC formed the commission in 2013 to help protect its image and take “urgent action” to deal with members of the party who face allegations of improper conduct.

The Mail & Guardian newspaper reported on Friday that the commission, headed by anti-apartheid stalwart Andrew Mlangeni, would question Zuma over a slew of corruption scandals and the party’s worst local election results in August.

Several senior members of the ANC have called for Zuma to resign in recent months after scandals rattled markets in Africa’s most industrialised economy and cost the party votes.

A constitutionally-mandated anti-graft watchdog, the Public protector, this month called for a judge to investigate allegations Zuma provided special favours for wealthy friends and allowed them to choose ministerial appointments. Zuma and the Gupta family deny any wrongdoing.

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