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Zuma's grip loosened by Eskom chaos

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President Jacob Zuma at the World Economic Forum in Durban. (Pic: Liesl Peyer, Fin24)
President Jacob Zuma at the World Economic Forum in Durban. (Pic: Liesl Peyer, Fin24)

Johannesburg - Management upheaval at Eskom has dealt another blow to President Jacob Zuma as he battles allegations that he’s been pivotal to a scheme to siphon off billions from the power utility and other state companies.

Ben Ngubane quit as Eskom’s chairperson late on Monday just two weeks after the African National Congress forced its board to rescind a decision to reappoint Brian Molefe as its chief executive officer. A report by the Office of the Public Protector and a trove of as many as 200 000 emails leaked to the media indicate that the two officials may have abused their positions to the benefit of members of the Gupta family, who are friends with the president and are in business with his son.

Whereas Zuma, 75, was once seen as someone who couldn’t be challenged, the evidence swirling around him and his allies has become “too damning for anyone to ignore,” Somadoda Fikeni, a politics professor at the University of South Africa in the capital, Pretoria, said by phone. “The president is losing ground day by day.”

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