World

US Should Remove South African President From Power

| by Mark Jones

In light of the recent protests against South African President Jacob Zuma, the United States should step in and help to oust him from power.

On April 7, protesters took to the streets in South Africa to protest Zuma's regime, reports News24. Specifically, they were protesting Zuma's decision to fire widely-respected Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in a Cabinet reshuffling

According to Defense Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, the number of protesters reached around 60,000 with data still coming in. Marches took place in the cities of Bloemfontein, Durban, Mbombela, Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Cape Town. 

Mapisa-Nqakula also said that the protests had been mostly peaceful, and praised the protesters for keeping it that way. 

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With the scope of the protests in mind, it should be clear that Zuma is not right for South Africa. He is opposed by a large number of people and therefore, should not be allowed to govern the country. However, even though the protests should be enough motivation for his ousting, there is seemingly endless other information that suggests he is not fit to govern.

Most pressing in light of the protests is Zuma's firing of Gordhan. According to The Guardian, this led to a drop in the value of the country's rand currency. In addition, it also resulted in Standard and Poor's, an international ratings agency, downgrading South Africa. This makes it apparent that Zuma does not know how to make decisions that will contribute to his country's well-being, and so should not be allowed to govern. 

In addition, Zuma has been accused of corruption since coming to power in 2009. Most broadly, he has been accused of filling important government positions with supporters and being involved in inappropriate relationships with a family of oil tycoons.

Another example of Zuma's corruption occurred in March of 2016. According to CNN, Zuma used $15 million in state funds to upgrade his private home. The South African Constitutional Court ruled that such an act was unconstitutional. 

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Simply stated, Zuma should have been removed from power after this scandal came to light. Removing him now would deliver some late, but unquestionably necessary, justice. 

Even those with extensive knowledge of the situation seem to believe that Zuma is bad for the country. 

“I think this is a really important moment,” said Nic Cheeseman, an expert in democracy at Africa at Birmingham University, according to The Guardian. “The South African state is under threat … The system now has problems throughout. A lot of these tendencies were latent and Zuma has been so damaging because he has brought them out.”

In light of Zuma's many flaws, critics like Cheeseman should be heeded when they say that South African democracy is in danger. The United States should therefore do everything in its power to aid South Africa in ridding itself of a corrupt leader. 

Click here for the opposing view on this topic.

Sources: News24, The Guardian, CNN / Photo credit: GovernmentZA/Flickr

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