South African President Jacob Zuma indicated that ruling party lawmakers who backed an opposition attempt to oust him should face disciplinary action and said he may consider firing his higher education minister, who has criticized his leadership.
More than two dozen members of the ruling African National Congress backed a motion of no confidence in the president on Aug. 8, which the main opposition Democratic Alliance filed after he unilaterally fired his respected finance minister and two ratings companies responded by downgrading the country’s debt to junk. While the motion was defeated by 198 votes to 177, Zuma said “anything could have happened.”
“The ANC was put into serious disrepute” by its lawmakers who refused to toe the party line, Zuma said at an ANC gathering in Parys in the central Free State province. “Nobody can say they did not know” what they were supposed to do, he said.
A former intelligence operative who has ruled Africa’s largest economy since 2009, Zuma has been implicated in a succession of scandals, including a finding by the nation’s top court that he violated his oath of office by refusing to repay money spent on his private home. While he has clung to office because he continues to enjoy the backing of most of the ANC’s top leaders, who are reliant on him for their jobs in the government and…