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Lekota calls for dramatic leadership change to restore confidence

Feb 11 2016 19:03
Matthew Le Cordeur, Fadia Salie and Dane McDonald

Cape Town - South Africa needs a dramatic change of leadership, Congress of the People (Cope) leader Mosiuoa Lekota said at Parliament before President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation Address on Thursday.

Lekota told Fin24 that in order to restore the ANC to its former dignity a dramatic change of leadership was needed.

"I would even say that it might be necessary perhaps to establish a government of national unity," he said before entering the National Assembly.

"The change of leadership must begin to address the issue of stability and assurance to the national and international investors that SA is committed to maintaining a stable order of things and of creating an enabling atmosphere for business to thrive in this country."

On whether Zuma would remain in power till the end of his term Lekota said: "I hope not, I really hope not. I don't know how long he'll be, but I hope not".

According to Lekota Zuma had shown himself to be unable to judge the mood of business people at home and abroad.

"By some of his actions in the recent period he has exposed himself as incapable of leading this country in a direction that assures other nations that it's a stable country that people can invest their money here and sure in the knowledge they will be able to get their returns," he said.

Markets reacted sharply in December after Zuma fired the respected finance minister Nhlanhla Nene and replaced him with unknown ANC MP David van Rooyen, sending the rand, stocks and debt plunging.

Zuma has since reappointed the respected Pravin Gordhan who headed the portfolio from 2009 to 2014.

Moody’s Investors Service cut the outlook on South Africa’s Baa2 credit rating, the second-lowest investment grade, to negative in December and fears now persist that South Africa's sovereign credit may be downgraded to junk status.

Many political analysts believe that Zuma is at his weakest since taking office in 2009.

The rand was trading under R16/$ at R15.72 shortly before Zuma was scheduled to deliver his SONA.

READ: Daniel Silke: No ordinary SONA for ‘lame-duck’ Zuma

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