South African clergy calls for President Zuma's resignation

(Reuters/Stefani Loos)South African President Jacob Zuma speaks to media.

South African clergy has called for the resignation of the embattled South African President Jacob Zuma as a fresh wave of criticisms and accusations of corruption come to light.

In a letter from the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference penned by their president Stephen Brislin, the clergy expressed their concerns over the cabinet reshuffle the leader has made in recent weeks.

"Since the dismissal of Mr. Nene as the finance minister, [a] strong impression has been created that the cabinet reshuffles by the president are done in the interest of the president's political survival and his patronage networks, and not the best interests of the nation," it read. It further added that the recent move to replace the current finance minister did nothing to change that sentiment.

The clergy pertained to the latest decision to remove Pravin Gordhan as finance minister, which led to the country's currency into a nosedive, said CNN.

The SACBC further noted that as it seemed the president has lost the trust and confidence of his constituents and associates in the government, Zuma "should earnestly reconsider his position" and act in a manner that would reflect the country's best interests.

The letter also said that "corruption at every level must be rooted out" and called on the African National Congress to take serious actions and measures to ensure its termination.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported that even some members of the ruling party ANC have called for Zuma to step down during a Tuesday meeting in Johannesburg. It seems that he maintained enough support internally to dodge the issue and deny the accusations thrown at him regarding the cabinet reshuffling.

According to Institute for Strategic Reflection political analyst Ralph Mathekga, it is unlikely that the president made the decision to reshuffle his cabinet without having enough aid from the party.

"Zuma would not carry out a controversial cabinet reshuffle such as this one without lining up his support within the party to push back against a backlash," he said by phone to Bloomberg, adding, "Even if you have those members speaking openly against him, the balance is such that he's still quite firm within the party."

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