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“Many evangelicals in South Africa are satisfied with Zuma’s resignation”

The Evangelical Alliance of South Africa (TEASA) admits there still is “a lack of political leadership” in the country.

AUTHOR Evangelical Focus, Jonatán Soriano PRETORIA 23 FEBRUARY 2018 09:22 h GMT+1
Zuma, during his resignation speech. / Siphiwe Sibeko, Reuters

South Africa did not have to wait until the 2019 elections to see a change in the country's presidency.



The pressure against president Jacob Zuma had grown during the last weeks. His own party, the African National Congress, with a majority in Parliament, had threatened to present a vote of no-confidence.



Zuma, who accompanied Mandela from the beginning in the fight against apartheid, has been accused since 2014 by the Ombudswoman of having diverted 18 million euros from the state treasury to reform his personal residence.



It is estimated that there are between 700 and 800 corruption cases filed against Zuma.



 



“EVANGELICALS ARE SATISFIED WITH THE RESIGNATION”



Many evangelicals in South Africa are satisfied with the resignation”, said Moss Ntlha, general secretary of the Evangelical Alliance of South Africa (TEASA).



 



The General Secretary of TEASA, Moss Ntlha. / TEASA

In August 2017, during the seventh non-confidence vote against Zuma, TEASA actively participated in the campaign against the president and organized marches to request his resignation.



“A letter I wrote, asking for the resignation, was even read in Parliament”, he explained.



 



RAMAPHOSA, THE ACTING PRESIDENT



Shortly after Zuma announced his resignation on February 14, the name of Cyril Ramaphosa, the vice president, sounded as a substitute.



Ramaphosa is another prominent leader in the fight against the regime of racial segregation. Although he was one of the favourite canidates of Mandela to replace him back in 1999, the African National Congress then chose Thabo Mbeki.



Ramaphosa turned away from politics and devoted himself to business, especially mining, to accumulate a fortune of more than 400 million euros, according to Forbes.



 



CONFIDENCE AND HOPE



The acting president reflects the situation in South Africa, one of the countries in which the inequality between people in poverty and the rich is greater in the world.



 



Cyril Ramaphosa, the new acting president . / Mike Hutchings, Reuters

“This is due to a combination of historical factors of the socioeconomic policies of apartheid and also to the fact that the market does not offer any advantage to the poor”, says the General Secretary of TEASA.



However, TEASA has confidence in Ramaphosa and believes that this “rapid intervention” by the African National Congress can help to stop the “spiral of decadence” that they had been observing in a party that in recent years has lost the local elections of Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town.



“Cyril has focused his inaugural speech on education and the need of supporting the inclusion of young people in economic activity as pillars to transform current inequality”, Ntlha explained.



 



“LACK OF POLITICAL LEADERSHIP”



Despite the social euphoria with the leadership change, TEASA admits that “there is a lack of political leadership” in the country. The movement of evangelicals insists, nevertheless, that it is not the case of the civil society, churches “have given a moral lesson to the political leaders".



Ramaphosa has been accused of being implicated in the deaths of 34 workers of the Marikana platinum mine, in a police charge in August 2012. At that time, the acting president was in charge of the management of Lonmin, the company that owned the mine. He has been accused of demanding action against the miners, according to leaked emails.


 

 


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Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.