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South Africa: ANC to hold media briefing on Zuma's fate

Ruling party expected to make an announcement on President Zuma's fate, as reports say he will be removed from office.

South Africa's ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) has given President Jacob Zuma 48 hours to resign, local media reported.

After a marathon 13-hour meeting on Monday, the ANC's National Executive Committee is said to have asked Zuma to step down and allow for a transition of power.

However, media reports said Zuma refused to do so, setting the scene for the extraordinary prospect of the party having to publicly recall him from office.

But the process is only a party-level instruction. Zuma is under no constitutional obligation to resign, which means if he refuses to step down, the party will have to navigate the prospect of calling for a motion of no-confidence against Zuma in parliament.

The ANC will hold a media briefing at 12:00 GMT on Tuesday to announce its decision.

The president faces hundreds of corruption charges but has previously vowed to stay in office until his term ends next year.

Zuma was found to have given favour to an Indian immigrant family known as the Guptas, in what became known as the state capture scandal.

But there are still some who defend Zuma, saying he is being targeted unfairly in a system that is underpinned by corruption.

Zuma joined the ANC in 1958 and is considered one of the party stalwarts. He spent time on Robben Island and lived in exile before returning to the country in 1990.

Known for being an astute political operator, Zuma has survived several no-confidence votes in parliament and until early February believed he would survive another. But the tide changed and several of his allies abandoned him.

Since being elected president of the ANC in December, Cyril Ramahosa has been clear that he had no intention of humiliating Zuma. The party itself reportedly want him to bow out on his own rather than drag the process to a no-confidence vote in parliament, which he was most likely to lose.

Still, the ANC is divided, and analysts say it is difficult to establish if the party can be repaired.


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