ANC pressure for Zuma to stand down grows

Later on Wednesday, the ANC postponed a meeting of its highest decision-making body, the National Executive Council (NEC), that had been scheduled for Wednesday in which Zuma's presidency was expected to be discussed.

South African President Jacob Zuma will not give the state of the nation address in parliament this week because of concerns that lawmakers would disrupt the speech, officials said Tuesday, reflecting the weakened state of a leader under intense pressure to resign because of scandals.

Many ANC members are pushing for Ramaphosa, the new head of the party, to replace Zuma, 75, as president immediately.

When pro-Zuma forces in the party humiliated former President Thabo Mbeki by forcing him out of office in 2008, eight months before the end of his term, it precipitated a split in the party.

Gouws says Zuma has to realise that his time as the president has come to an end.

"On the basis of the progress made, it was agreed to postpone a special meeting of the ANC national executive committee that had been scheduled for later today".

In a statement released on Wednesday‚ Ramaphosa confirmed that he met with Zuma on Tuesday evening to discuss matters relating to his position as president of the republic.

The meeting planned for Wednesday had been delayed until February 17, the African National Congress said in a statement.

Mr Ramaphosa is now the front runner to succeed him as president.

However, not everyone wants Mr Zuma to go with proponents arguing he's done nothing wrong.

More news: The 3 Ways Zuma Exits The Union Buildings

South African bonds were firmer on Wednesday afternoon, as the market closely watched for signs of President Jacob Zuma's exit.

Zuma's 10-year tenure has been marked by long-standing, mounting corruption scandals - he faces the prospect of prosecution for 783 counts of corruption, after the nation's prosecuting authority now deliberates whether to reinstate the dismissed charges.

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 said the meeting was delayed to allow for a conclusion to his talks with Zuma.

Mbete said a new date for the state of the nation address would be announced shortly.

Zuma has survived several no-confidence votes due to his party's majority in parliament.

"The allegations are completely baseless", Ngqulunga said in a statement.

The party's NEC is split between supporters of Ramaphosa and Zuma.

Pollitt said the bishops urged the people to pray for peace and justice and they kept saying "they hope the ruling party can find a quick solution to the transition of power for the sake of our people who suffer with poverty and unemployment".

The main opposition Democratic Alliance party has called for the event to be postponed.

While Zuma is due to step down in mid-2019, his nine-year tenure has been marred by a series of scandals and policy missteps.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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