Zuma’s fate will not affect Brics Summit: Experts

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Cape Town, Feb 14 (IANS) The potential removal of South African President Jacob Zuma is unlikely to impact the 10th Brics Summit scheduled for July, experts said.

The 10th annual diplomatic meeting of the group of major emerging economies — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — is set to come up in Johannesburg between July 25-27.

South Africa’s ruling party African National Congress (ANC) on Tuesday had ordered Zuma to step down as the state head after marathon talks over the fate of the leader.

The potential dismissal of the President, according to experts, will not impede the 10th Brics meet in South Africa, which takes over the rotating chairmanship of the group in 2018.

“The Zuma exit (Zexit) will not affect the Brics summit. A new South Africa President will convene the summit and the programmes will continue,” Gwinyai Dzinesa, a researcher at the Centre for Conflict Resolution based in Capetown, told Xinhua on Tuesday.

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The summit scheduled in the Sandton Convention Centre will see South Africa push forward the programmes of development and prosperity.

Zuma had earlier requested a three-month “notice period” before he submits his unconditional resignation, ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule said. His proposal was shot down by the committee.

South Africa will not allow the summit to abort, said Ngqabutho Nicholas Mabhena, a political commentator at the Zimbabwe Communist Party.

“The Brics mechanism has strengthened cooperation for institutional development, which saw the creation of the New Development Bank (NDB) and the newly launched Africa Regional Centre in Johannesburg,” Mabhena added.

He also said South Africa is willing to see Brics countries help each other with inclusive economic growth, value-added multilateral trade and investment in productive sectors.

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Since South Africa joined the group in 2011, the country has scored major achievements.

Gerry Thomas, the chief executive officer of Krispy Kreme, a famous South African food producer, said the summit was important and “its organisation will be an important milestone towards building stronger solidarity and cooperation among the emerging markets.”

Magashule also said on Tuesday that Zuma has not been given a deadline to resign but was expected to respond to the recall on Wednesday.

As uncertainty over Zuma’s future continues, the South African government had to postpone a cabinet meeting scheduled for Wednesday.

–IANS

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