Jacob Zuma

Outa slams Zuma over SA ratings downgrade

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Well, it’s been a rough five days.

Following the recent cabinet reshuffle which saw Pravin Gordhan kicked to the curb and replaced as Finance Minister by Malusi Gigaba, ratings agency Standard & Poor’s saw fit to downgrade South Africa’s credit outlook to junk status.

The reaction has been so visceral, you may have wondered if it had something to do with yesterday’s earth tremors. Opposition parties have called for President Jacob Zuma to step down, several high-ranking ANC officials – Cyril Ramaphosa and Gwede Mantashe among them – have voiced dissent and a quick look at social media reveals most South Africans believe the end of times is upon us.

Now, the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has added its voice to the chorus of South Africans who are screaming for Zuma’s head.

In a strongly-worded statement released early this morning, Outa called on the ANC to recall Zuma immediately and strip him of the presidency.

“We cannot allow this situation to continue and the ruling party will have to look toward themselves and their inability to take this issue seriously,” said Outa Chairperson Wayne Duvenage.

“We believe that if the authorities act swiftly, South Africa may be able to have the rest of the ratings agencies to stay their decision for a downgrade, and eventually get S&P to reverse their decision.”

Outa also says it has suggestions for actions the public to take on this coming Friday, to express their views on the situation the country finds itself in. It says it will make an announcement on this shortly.

This is the second time in as many days that Outa has fired a bolt across Zuma’s brow. Last week it announced it planned to explore legal avenues that could force Zuma to reinstate Gordhan as Finance Minister. In the meantime, the rand continues to plummet and the country waits with baited-breath for other ratings agencies to weigh in.

It’s fair to say the beloved country is in for a rocky week.