Two former members of President Jacob Zuma’s administration resigned as lawmakers for the ruling ANC before this month’s debate of a motion of no confidence in the nation’s leader.
Former transport minister Dipuo Peters and ex-deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas resigned as members of parliament, effective 31 March, the national assembly said in e-mailed statements. Zuma fired Peters and Jonas in a cabinet reshuffle announced shortly after midnight the same day.
The resignations may boost Zuma’s chances of surviving the no-confidence motion called by the two main opposition parties. The vote is scheduled for 18 April in the national assembly, where the ANC has a 62% majority.
While opposition leaders have urged ANC lawmakers to vote according to their conscience, party secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said on Wednesday they won’t oppose Zuma. The rules of parliament don’t allow for a secret ballot.
Zuma’s decision to fire Pravin Gordhan as finance minister and make 19 other changes to his administration drew widespread criticism, prompted S&P Global Ratings to downgrade the nation’s credit rating to junk and weakened the rand. — (c) 2017 Bloomberg LP