South Africa’s parliament is to debate a motion of no-confidence on November 10 against President Jacob Zuma following the release of a report on Wednesday detailing allegations of influence peddling, opposition leader Mmusi Maimane said on Thursday.
The State of Capture report was released by the Office of the Public Protector and although it explored accusations that Zuma allowed the wealthy Gupta family to claim undue influence over government, it stopped short of alleging that crimes had been committed, but demanded a full inquiry within 30 days.
"The report contains a lot of explosive, damaging information about the president," Mcebisi Ndletyana, politics professor at Johannesburg University, told AFP.
State of Capture details accusations that Zuma allowed the Guptas, a wealthy Indian business family to gain influence over the government, including letting them choose some cabinet ministers.
Findings in the 355-page report raised several allegations that Zuma had broken the Executive Members' Ethics Act in his relationship with the Guptas and by failing "to select and appoint ministers lawfully".
Zuma had attempted to block the release of the report which was due to be published on October 14, but made a surprise U-turn and dropped the appeal.
The president, 74, has survived a string of damaging controversies, but faces increasing criticism as the economy stalls and after African National Congress (ANC) suffered unprecedented losses in local polls.
"Today is a historic day... Jacob Zuma must be held accountable," Mmusi Maimane, leader of the main opposition Democratic Alliance party, told reporters.
The reaction to the release of the report was met with thousands of people protesting Zuma’s resignation outside his office in administrative capital, Pretoria.
Police fired rubber bullets and used water cannons to disperse supporters of the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party who tried to storm Zuma's office at the Union Buildings.
Meanwhile, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party responded to the report.
ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa says the party's government officials must be wary of relationships they build.
“They must worry about the political proximity and the intersections between business and leadership, particularly our cadres employed in positions of power in government and those who run state-owned companies.”