South African unions demand President Zuma resign

Indo Asian News Service

Johannesburg, April 5 (IANS) The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) called for the resignation of President Jacob Zuma after a controversial cabinet reshuffle that has deeply divided officialdom in the African country.

The call made by COSATU on Tuesday, a member of the alliance led by the African National Congress (ANC) which has been ruling South Africa for 23 years, increased pressure on President Zuma.

Zuma has caused a serious rift in the government and his own party after the sacking of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Friday because of opposing several plans of the President and the high cost to the South African treasury.

According to COSATU secretary-general Bheki Ntshalintshali, the unions no longer believe in Zuma's leadership capacity.

COSATU includes unions from all economic sectors and has nearly two million members.

The congress's demands came a day after Standard & Poor's financial company downgraded South Africa's credit rating to junk status, considering the cabinet reshuffle a division in the party.

Gordhan has become a symbol of integrity in South Africa because of his opposition to some of Zuma's most controversial projects.

The former finance minister said that such projects would benefit the Gupta family, a clan of businessmen who have investments with the president's family.