South African ruling party backs scandal-tainted president

AP News
Posted: May 29, 2017 12:31 PM

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A leader of South Africa's ruling party says calls for the resignation of scandal-tainted President Jacob Zuma benefit opposition efforts to dislodge the party that has led the country since the end of white minority rule in 1994.

Gwede Mantashe, secretary general of the African National Congress, spoke on Monday about the need for party unity after some ANC members campaigned in vain for Zuma's ouster at a high-level meeting over the weekend.

While Mantashe's comment suggests Zuma will continue to retain significant support within the divided ruling party despite concerns about alleged government corruption, many in the party attribute the ANC's poor performance in local elections last year to scandals surrounding the president. They are also concerned about a dip in popularity ahead of national elections in 2019.