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Zuma rejects calls for him to step down

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South African President Jacob Zuma on Sunday rejected calls for him to step down, saying his fate is to be determined by the majority.

“I will only step down once the majority says so,” Zuma said at an Easter service at the Twelve Apostles of Christ Church in Umgababa, south of Durban.

Zuma said he would not walk away unless most South Africans want him to do so.

“Only the people of South Africa will remove me from office,” Zuma said.

He said some people wanted him to step down because he’s “telling the truth.”

Zuma was responding to widespread protests taking place on April 7 and onwards amid growing calls for him to step down.

The protests were sparked by a cabinet reshuffle effected by Zuma on March 31. The reshuffle, which saw the sacking of well-respected Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and nine other ministers, led international rating agencies Standard & Poor’s and Fitch to downgrade South Africa’s sovereign credit rating to junk status, respectively on April 3 and April 7.

In his remarks on Sunday, Zuma linked the protests to colonialism.

The recent civic action calling for him to step down “is merely a defense of colonialism,” said Zuma.

Zuma said he would continue to strive for economic transformation so as to fix problems that have existed for long.

The economic power should be shifted to the people so everyone can enjoy it, he said.

Zuma called for an end to poverty among blacks, saying: “Even if they remove the president who says this, the next one will do the same.”

The president urged members of the church to pray for the country and its leaders.

“I wish you to pray very hard for our nation so that the respect should come back … and (pray) that our country should have good governance,” Zuma said. (PNA/Xinhua)