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South Africa President Jacob Zuma may be forced to resign due to graft charges

Criticism of Zuma has spread in recent months, with calls for him to step down emerging from influential trade unions.

South African President Jacob Zuma on Thursday faced increasing calls to resign after a damaging probe unearthed further evidence of alleged corruption at the top of the ANC government.

The country’s anti-graft watchdog ordered a judicial inquiry into possible criminal activity in Zuma’s relationship with the Guptas, a wealthy Indian family accused of wielding undue political influence.

Zuma, 74, has weathered a series of major scandals since coming to power in 2009, but rapidly declining support for the African National Congress (ANC) party has threatened his presidency.

Fears have grown that South Africa has thrown away the optimistic legacy of Nelson Mandela’s post-apartheid era — with Zuma’s alleged misconduct at the heart of public discontent.

“The mood of the people has become more and more angry,” said a statement from Save South Africa, a new umbrella group of anti-apartheid veterans, civil activists, business leaders and churches.

“(The ANC) must stop putting the interests of Jacob Zuma before the interests of South Africa,” it said. “The president must step down now.”

Criticism of Zuma has spread in recent months, with calls for him to step down emerging from influential trade unions, corporate bosses and even senior ANC figures, as well as from opposition parties.

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