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S. African president faces top ruling party officials

05 February 2018

Party officials were mandated by the ANC national working committee last week to meet Zuma and ask him to step down, after a national executive committee meeting earlier agreed that the officials should manage his exit.

Ever since he was replaced as leader of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party by Cyril Ramaphosa, the country's deputy president, Zuma has been in a weakened position as he is battling a string of corruption allegations. However, cracks began to show in the top six leadership as ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, a staunch Zuma supporter, told eNCA on Saturday that Zuma will deliver the Sona.

However some senior members have pushed for him to go in order to "avoid two centers" of power with Zuma as head of state and Ramaphosa as party president.

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"President Jacob Zuma, who is set to deliver the SONA, unfortunately embodies none of this", the letter said.

Mr Zuma has survived several no-confidence votes during his rule thanks to loyal voting by ANC lawmakers, who form a strong parliamentary majority.

Another opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), had lobbied speaker Mbete to postpone the state of the nation address until Zuma had been removed from office. "The ANC top six have held them at president Zuma's guesthouse".

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On the other hand, Zuma has become a liability and many members want the president to leave soon so the ANC, can rebuild ahead of 2019 elections.

These include‚ among others‚ surveillance of members of parliament‚ Zuma's call that the most recent motion of no confidence‚ in which several ANC MPs voted for his removal‚ be done by an open ballot and Friday's threat of a civil war by the "Hands Off Zuma" campaign - led by Black First Land First and Unemployed People's Trust.

There is also another planned motion of no confidence against Zuma later this month in parliament. There was no immediate comment from an ANC spokeswoman.

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S. African president faces top ruling party officials