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12 January 2018, 09:18 | Opal Carroll
Zuma, Kenyatta to hold talks in Durban
South Africa's president said Tuesday he is appointing a commission of inquiry to look into corruption allegations that have led to calls for his ouster and weakened the ruling party, declaring "this matter can not wait any longer".
The rand weakened in midday trade yesterday to its worst in almost three weeks after the ANC said an early exit for President Jacob Zuma had not been discussed at a party meeting.
Corruption allegations have tarnished Zuma's image as well as eroded his support base and he was ordered last month to appoint a judicial inquiry into the alleged graft within 30 days.
In the run-up to the NEC's first meeting yesterday, it was believed that the matter would be addressed in relation to the future of President Jacob Zuma as the head of state.
Zuma's announcement comes the day before parliament is to take up a draft of a process for removing the nation's president from office.
Zuma said the commission would be headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Mnyamezeli Mlungisi Zondo.
The meeting only deliberated on what the January 8 statement that party president Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver to ANC supporters on Saturday at the Buffalo City Stadium should entail.
It also deeply divided the ANC, which has been in power since the end of white minority rule in South Africa in 1994.
In terms of existing ANC policy‚ the party president automatically becomes the country's president.
Mr Zuma has been accused of conspiring with a wealthy business family, the Guptas, to control lucrative state contracts.
"The Zuma trigger today gives a glimpse of how the rand will react if Zuma does step down early, although this possibility is increasingly being priced in", said Christopher Shiells, a senior emerging market analyst at Informa Global Markets.
"Attacks on President Jacob Zuma have never been attacks on him as an individual, but they are particularly driven by the intention to divide the African National Congress".
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