South Africa's ANC to hold special meeting as pressure mounts on Zuma

Reuters , Sunday 11 Feb 2018

South Africa protesters
Protesters chant anti-Jacob Zuma slogans outside the ANC party headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Monday 5 February, 2018 (Photo: AFP)

South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) will convene a special meeting of its executive body on Monday, its spokesman said, amid mounting pressure on President Jacob Zuma to step down.

Spokesman Pule Mabe declined to comment on whether the meeting of the National Executive Committee, which has the power to instruct Zuma to resign, would discuss Zuma's political future. A senior ANC source told Reuters, however, that the committee was likely to discuss Zuma's situation at the meeting.

Zuma, who has overseen a tumultuous nine years in power marked by economic decline and numerous allegations of corruption, has been in a weakened position since he was replaced as ANC leader by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa in December.

Ramaphosa has been lobbying for Zuma to resign and has said he hopes to conclude talks with the president "in coming days ... in the interests of the country."

Ramaphosa was due to give a speech later on Sunday in Cape Town as part of year-long celebrations to mark 100 years since the birth of former President Nelson Mandela, but it was unclear whether he would mention Zuma's situation.

The ANC called off a special meeting of its executive body to discuss Zuma's future scheduled for last Wednesday after the president and Ramaphosa agreed to hold talks for a transition of power.

The party has only said that the talks were "constructive".

Zuma, who no longer holds a top position in the party, has not said whether he will resign voluntarily before his second term as president ends in the middle of next year.

A senior ANC source told Reuters that the executive committee would meet at 1200 GMT in Pretoria on Monday.

The ANC's chairperson said on Saturday that South Africans should be patient with Ramaphosa as he holds talks with Zuma for a transition of power.

Ramaphosa attended a church service at Cape Town's Anglican St George's Cathedral on Sunday morning, looking relaxed and allowing parents to take pictures of their children with him.

St George's Cathedral was at the forefront of the anti-apartheid struggle and during a Christmas mass service last year its Archbishop Thabo Makgoba called on the new ANC leadership to act "quickly and decisively" to replace Zuma as head of state.

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