South Africa’s ruling African National Congress party is holding meetings to decide the fate of President Jacob Zuma, who is under growing pressure to step down amid corruption allegations.
The ANC will decide President Jacob Zuma’s fate at a special meeting on Monday, the party’s new chief said, in what could be the most serious bid yet to unseat a leader damaged by corruption allegations.
Zuma was replaced as leader of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa in December and no longer holds a top position in the party.
The meeting of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC), which has the power to demand that Zuma step down, raises the prospect of a decisive showdown between the 75-year-old allies and those who want Ramaphosa to take over from him now as president.
The remarks by the 65-year-old Ramaphosa were his most pointed yet over the handover of power, although he did not mention Zuma by name. Zuma’s tenure as president officially runs until mid-2019.
“The National Executive Committee of the ANC will be meeting tomorrow to discuss this very matter, and because our people want this matter to be finalised, the NEC will be doing precisely that,” Ramaphosa told a rally in Cape Town on Sunday.
The ANC leader said on Wednesday he and Zuma were holding direct talks over the transfer of power.
Zuma has not said in public whether he will step down voluntarily. His spokesman could not be reached for comment.
The rand has tended to strengthen on signs that Zuma could be ousted before his second term as president ends next year, and might firm more if the NEC demands that he go.
The party tried and failed to secure an agreement from the 75-year-old Zuma, who has ruled South Africa since 2009, to step down voluntarily. Zuma is apparently not budging and many in the party fear that his fading support could hurt their chances to retain the presidency if he stays on until elections in 2019.
Opposition leader Julius Sello Malema tweeted earlier that Zuma refused to step down, writing that the ANC had “to take a decision to remove him… He’s arguing that he complied with all legal instructions paying back the money, what more do they want from him.”
He refused to resign and he told them to take a decision to remove him if they so wish to do so because he didn’t do anything wrong to the country. He’s arguing that he complied with all legal instructions including paying back the money, what more do they want from him
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