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Zuma; farmer; FF Plus leader Groenewald

South African president Zuma solidifies his hold on the ANC

Following a cabinet reshuffle in South Africa, including the firing of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, the S&P Global Ratings cut the country's credit rating to junk status for the first time in 17 years. But it did not persuade the president to resign.

Published: April 6, 2017, 11:15 am

    Offshore investors have remained net buyers of South African rand debt throughout the currency turmoil, with inflows in the week Gordhan was fired the highest since June. Opposition parties and pro-British civic groups are demanding that president Zuma quit, but unfortunately for all the wrong reasons, because British investors are still punting on the rand and doing nothing to stop the violence against whites on farms.

    The thirty farm attacks that had been recorded in South Africa since the beginning of February 2017, in which eleven people were brutally murdered, have not even been mentioned once in the move against the president. The anti-Zuma lobby, operating from London in the UK, is quite satisfied with the disturbing trend against white farmers it seems.

    When the white civil rights organisation AfriForum and the Transvaal Agricultural Union of South Africa (TAU SA) announced another rise in farm attacks and farm murders for 2016 during a media conference in Centurion this year, nary a peep was heard from the hysterical Zuma-must-go crowd.

    The farm murders were all gruesome with torture involved. None of these type of murders are new. The main opposition party, the DA’s commitment to speaking out and raise awareness quickly faded when the Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille recently tried to defend white colonialism.

    Zille is now facing the party’s Federal Legal Commission that recommended disciplinary action be taken against her.

    Small Afrikaner opposition party, Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Groenewald says it’s not true farm murders are a result of the mistreatment of black farmworkers by white land owners. Speaking in the National Assembly during a debate on farm murders and attacks, he said: “If you look at the causes of farm murders, less than 2 percent was where the victims of the murderers were known to the criminals.”

    Groenewald says he asked for the debate in parliament a month ago because it is more dangerous to be a farmer than a member of the South African Police Service. He says murders of policemen and women average at 54 for every 100 000 members of the population but when it comes to farm murders, this number rises to 330 per 100 000 of the population.

    Crime statistics released in February show that, nationally, there have been 116 more murders between the first half of 2015/16 and 2016/17. Instead the government spent R131.8 million more in VIP protection services for the embattled Gordhan.

    It is apparent that the ANC are far more concerned with internal battles to safeguard their corrupt and kleptocratic regime than they are with making South Africa safe. Zuma is not due to step down as party leader until December and as president in 2019 . The latest scandal has only solidified his power in the leading party.

    The campaign by opposition parties and business groups to push the president out won’t succeed without significant defections within the ANC, the nation’s dominant party since the first post-apartheid election in 1994. In the past too, the party closed ranks in the face of opposition moves against its leaders. Zuma has already survived four such no-confidence votes.

    The ANC’s top decision-making group, the National Executive Committee, has backed Zuma all the way because many of its members owe him their positions. No signs of the groundswell within the party that would be required to really threaten Zuma’s continued rule have been recorded, with the hysteria mainly coming from outside the country and from currency punters.

    Ratings agency Standard and Poor’s has now downgraded seven South African financial institutions, because it says local banks cannot be ranked above the foreign currency sovereign credit ratings.

    S&P Global downgraded the country’s foreign currency credit rating on Monday. Banking stocks lost value on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange since President Jacob Zuma’s cabinet reshuffle in which he got rid of mostly pro-British ministers.

    According to the agency, the country’s downgrade will affect domestic banks’ operations, including their ability to service foreign currency obligations.

    While the S&P now rates South Africa’s foreign-currency debt BB+, one level below investment-grade, Fitch Ratings and Moody’s still assess its creditworthiness above that threshold.

    ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said that the party was “gravely concerned” about some of its members calling on Zuma to resign, and it would not bow to the whims of the opposition.

    “No army allows its soldiers to be commanded by the enemy general,” Mantashe said.

    The ANC Youth League has threatened violence against the opposition if they were to hold rallies to unseat Zuma this week. “We are waiting for you, on Friday, you will find the ANC Youth League with sjamboks, and all weapons available at our disposal,” an ANCYL spokesperson told the South African public broadcaster.

    Congress of South African Students (Cosas) secretary-general, Khulekani Skhosana, went on to threaten that the ANCYL would burn the headquarters of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), another opposition party, should the EFF members continue to disrespect the president in parliament.

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