S Africa's ANC meets to 'finalise' Zuma exit

Jacob Zuma

South African President Jacob Zuma who is battling to stay in office despite the ruling ANC party asking him to step down. FILE

Party leader Cyril Ramaphosa's motorcade left the marathon ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting at 10:30pm for Mr Zuma's residence near the Union Buildings in Pretoria to deliver the message in person.

South Africa's ruling party has said President Jacob Zuma must leave office.

The rand's fortunes have been closely tied to political outcomes over the past couple of months, with the currency rallying on any sign of an end to the corruption scandals and economic decline that have tainted Zuma's time in office.

Furthermore, Magashule had said that the NEC had not discussed the matter of removing Zuma through a motion of no confidence should the state president refuse to heed the call made by the NEC.

South African President Jacob Zuma broke his silence Wednesday to disagree with the ruling party's order to resign and say he'd done nothing wrong, setting the stage for his nearly certain ouster in a parliamentary vote on Thursday after years of corruption scandals. His efforts to ensure the election of a loyal successor fell short at the party conference in December, where businessman - and current national vice president - Cyril Ramaphosa won the party's vote.

The call to ask Zuma to step down came after an eight-hour meeting of the party's top leadership, state broadcaster South African Broadcasting Corporation reported.

Mr Zuma has survived other such votes, but he would not be expected to pull it off again. In December past year, he was replaced by Cyril Ramaphosa as the party president of the African National Congress. He added that "I will be out" if parliament votes against him in a motion of no confidence as expected on Thursday.

The stalemate has plunged South Africa - Africa's most developed economy - into uncertainty over who is running the country, with a series of public events cancelled last week including the annual State of the Nation address to parliament.

The party's National Executive Committee (NEC) decided the removal should be "treated with urgency", said Magashule. And 18 corruption charges, stemming from a 1990s arms deal, were dropped before he became president and have not been reinstated.

"It's likely, depending on the availability of Chief Justice, we can probably elect a new President".

In 2016, South Africa's highest court ruled that Zuma had violated the constitution when he failed to repay government money spent on his private home.

He was scheduled to stand down next year after serving the maximum two terms since coming to power in 2009.

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