South Africa’s communist party bans Zuma from addressing party event

South Africa’s Communist Party (SACP), a key ally of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) has banned President Jacob Zuma from addressing its congress this week, the party spokeswoman told AFP news agency reports.

Hlengiwe Nkonyane said the decision was based on Mr Zuma’s political problems:

“We advised the ANC that due to the tensions we are having… it would be best for the president not to address the national congress.”

It will be the first time that President Zuma, who came to power in 2009, has not addressed the congress, held every four years, AFP reports.

SACP has been increasingly critical of Mr Zuma and called on him to step down over his alleged scandals and his connections to the controversial Gupta family, which is said to have undue influence over his government, a situation that has negatively affected ANC’s public support.

In May, he was forced to abandon a rally after he was jeered by the crowd, and the SACP said it did not want the same to happen at its event.

The SACP, along with the ANC and the trade union federation Cosatu, was at the forefront of the struggle to end white-minority rule that led to the first non-racial elections in 1994.

Mr Zuma will on 8 August face a motion of no-confidence in parliament called by the opposition.

He is due to step down as ANC leader in December and as national president ahead of the 2019 election.

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