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Secrecy on president's exit bad for South Africa, group says

08 February 2018

The decision to postpone the meeting came after "constructive" talks between Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Pule Mabe, spokesman for the ruling African National Congress, said late Tuesday. "So clearly, the argument is simply aimed at getting rid of President Zuma", says Dr Groenewald.

"On Sunday evening‚ President Zuma says to us‚ 'What do you guys mean by transition?' He said this is a unusual word that you guys have just coined".

Nothing is straightforward. And definitely not in an ANC that President Jacob Zuma has had at his beck and call, throughout the Nkandla debacle, the damaging March 2017 midnight cabinet reshuffle that changed the finance portfolio leadership, the #GuptaLeaks revelations about state capture, waning election fortunes and various court challenges, to how his administration does its governance job. The aim of the meeting was to discuss Zuma's fate as head of state.

Zuma's delivery of the State of the Nation Address, originally schueduled for Thursday, has been postponed, parliament speaker Baleka Mbete announced.

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"Throughout this process, I am guided by the principle that the interests and needs of the South African people are paramount", he said.

Independent political analyst Ralph Mathekga told AFP that Mr Zuma's departure had been mishandled by the ANC.

However, he would not divulge the details of the two leaders' engagement. On government social media accounts, pictures of Zuma and Ramaphosa sitting next to each other in these meetings, in work mode, both grinning from ear to ear, were posted.

"The president [Ramaphosa] might actually give us a report on his meeting with President Zuma, the constructive meeting... the fruitful meeting", he concluded.

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Zuma, in power since 2009 and beset by corruption allegations, has been in a weakened position since Ramaphosa replaced him as ANC leader in December.

His presidency has been dominated by an economic slowdown, record unemployment and allegations of corruption.

The delay increased speculation that a deal for Zuma to resign had been ironed out.

South Africa's Times Live website quoted unnamed sources as saying Mr Zuma was prepared to quit, if the right terms can be negotiated.

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Zuma was seen entering his Cape Town offices yesterday morning, according to footage broadcast on local television.

Secrecy on president's exit bad for South Africa, group says