South Africa’s Zuma Faces Toughest Test Of His Presidency. Will He Survive?

Written by Kevin Mwanza

Embattled South African president Jacob Zuma’s political woes are getting worse in what is turning out to be the biggest test so far to his second term at the helm of Africa’s second biggest economy.

On Tuesday, the country’s parliament is set to debate an impeachment motion against the president.

The motion comes after a constitutional court ruled that Zuma had violated the law when he ignored orders to repay part of the $16 million used to renovate his private rural residence in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal province.

Since the ruling on Thursday last week, South Africans, the opposition and an anti-apartheid hero have urged Zuma to step down.

The impending impeachment comes in the wake of two family-related incidents that are set to fuel the battle against South Africa’s third-democratically elected president.

Clive Khulubuse, the president’s nephew has been named in The Panama Paper leaks as being part of the global elite who own offshore accounts in Panama.

The documents reveal how Mossack Fosenca, a law firm in the Central America nation, helped Khulubuse and other rich and powerful people laundered money, avoided tax and sanctions to hide their wealth in offshore accounts in Panama.

According to The Guardian, the 11.5 million files leaked from the fourth biggest offshore law firm represent one of the biggest corruption rackets involving presidents and other prominent people in the world.

This may be used by the anti-Zuma voices to re-ignite his involvement in the unclear circumstances that his nephew was awarded two oilfields by President Joseph Kabila in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in 2010.

The revelations come after global accountancy firm; KPMG cut its ties with a company owned by The Guptas, a family close to Zuma that has been linked with influencing government appointments since December 2015.

KPMG ended a 15-year old relationship with Oakbay Resources and Energy, a mining firm owned by The Guptas, over the relationship with Zuma in his capacity as the president of the Rainbow Nation.

Zuma’s presidency is facing its biggest threat and Khulubuse’s mention in the corruption ring means more harm to Zuma’s chances of surviving the biggest onslaught against his presidency.