From Opponents To Former Allies, Pressure Mounts Against South Africa's Zuma

However, Zuma faced a setback after the country's largest trade union Cosatu joined calls for him to step down in a statement released on Wednesday.

The secretary-general said any anti-Zuma movements won't work but will instead force the party to close ranks:"It will take South Africans appreciating that we are an organisation, we have a responsibility and a task to discuss issues and take decisions before recalling Zuma".

But Cosatu said it no longer believed in Mr Zuma's ability to lead the party and the country, and that it wanted to restructure its alliance with the ANC.

In his first public remarks about Thursday's midnight reshuffle, Zuma on Tuesday also urged his cabinet to reach out and reassure worldwide investors following the dismissal of former finance minister Pravin Gordhan.

The South African government remains committed to a measured fiscal consolidation that stabilizes the rise in public debt, President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, ANC senior officials have accepted that they made a mistake by publicly criticising President Zuma following the reshuffle.

"No army allows its soldiers to be commanded by the enemy general", Mantashe said, implying that any decision to unseat him would have to come from within the ANC itself.

Duarte said that the ANC had been aware of Zuma wanting to sack Gordhan from November a year ago. Zuma appointed 10 new ministers and 10 new deputy ministers.

Mantashe and deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa initially criticised the cabinet reshuffle‚ in particular the axing of Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas.

"He reshuffled the cabinet last week without even consulting the ANC itself, and not only alliance partners, on the other positions that were affected and names that were 'decided elsewhere, ' as confirmed by ANC officials in response to his unilateralism", the SACP declared.

Mantashe also dismissed calls for ANC MPs to back a vote of no confidence against Zuma.

Selfe said he was approaching the court to reinstate Gordhan and Jonas because‚ "The exercise of every public power is subject to the principal of legality" and such power needed to be exercised for "legitimate government purposes and exercised on the correct facts".

Ratings agency Moody is yet to change South Africa's status, but has put the country on a watchlist for a possible ratings downgrade.

Previous no-confidence motions in parliament against Zuma have failed as the ANC has a commanding majority there.

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