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ANC ups pressure on Zuma

ANC ups pressure on Zuma

ANC ups pressure on Zuma

The ANC had scheduled an urgent meeting for Wednesday evening of its national executive - which has the power to instruct Zuma to resign - but postponed it late on Tuesday after "constructive" talks between Zuma and Ramaphosa.

The ANC was the main anti-apartheid movement for decades and has led South Africa since the end of white minority rule in 1994, but its moral stature has diminished because of Zuma and wider problems of corruption and mismanagement.

Parliament has made a decision to ask Zuma to delay the state-of-the-nation address due to fears of violence, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete told reporters outside Parliament Cape Town.

But Zuma loyalists have said that the president should complete his second and final term in office, which would end when elections are held next year.

More information about Zuma's status as president will be available once "all pertinent matters" have been finalized, said Ramaphosa.

By the next day the ruling party was not refuting these reports, but instead scrambling to get its national working committee (NWC) to an emergency meeting at Luthuli House where pandaemonium broke outside between ANC and BLF members.

Time appears to be running out for South African President Jacob Zuma.

"The State of Nation Address is important as it sets the tone for the year; he should not be presenting it".

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa acknowledged "a lot of speculation and anxiety" about the status of the president.

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"We wanted him to go a long time ago", Sizwe Pamla, the federation's spokesman, said by phone from Johannesburg.

Opposition parties had asked that the speech be postponed until after a no-confidence vote on Zuma's leadership.

The divisions Zuma's leadership has exposed within the ANC were evident outside the party's headquarters in Johannesburg on Monday (Tuesday NZT), where the president's supporters and opponents staged rival protests amid a strong police presence.

So far, he has managed to evade 783 charges of fraud and corruption that have been dogging him for years and saw him sacked as deputy president by his predecessor, Thabo Mbeki.

Many graft allegations against him have centred on the wealthy Gupta family, who are accused of unfairly obtaining lucrative government contracts and even being able to choose ministerial appointments.

Ramaphosa is looking to revive the economy and tackle record unemployment before the 2019 elections that come amid falling public support for ANC.

The proposal was likely to be on Zuma's future, analysts said. Other options for his removal include impeachment proceedings in parliament or a vote on an opposition-sponsored motion of no confidence that is scheduled for February 22.

"After almost 24 years of ANC rule, the government hasn't fundamentally changed the structure of the South African economy or business environment", Vandome said.

South African President Jacob Zuma gestures as he addresses supporters outside the South African Parliament in Cape Town, Aug. 8, 2017. Zuma is also included in an arms deal scandal along with two former French presidents.

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