South Africa's Jacob Zuma given 48 hours to resign or face sacking

South Africa's Jacob Zuma given 48 hours to resign or face sacking

Zuma is also facing a no-confidence motion in parliament, scheduled for 22 February.

South African opposition parties have called for early elections as the ANC's slow-motion transfer of power to Ramaphosa grinds on.

Ramaphosa narrowly defeated Zuma's ex-wife and preferred successor, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, in the leadership vote, forcing him initially to tread carefully in handling Zuma for fear of deepening the rifts in the party a year ahead of an election. The ANC leaders refused his request.

The deputy in question was Jacob Zuma, who took over the presidency the following year.

The uncertainty over the fate of the leader of one of Africa's biggest economies, who appears politically damaged beyond fix, stirred speculation that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Zuma's expected successor, had been negotiating a deal with the president in exchange for his resignation.

The ANC's national executive committee has made a decision to recall President Jacob Zuma as head of state‚ with no deal and an ultimatum.

If Mr Zuma refuses to co-operate, the matter could go to parliament for a vote on a motion of no confidence.

Mugashule told state broadcaster SABC on Tuesday that Zuma confirmed he will speak Wednesday. "Jacob Zuma must face the full consequences of his actions", said the leader of the Democratic Alliance, Mmusi Maimane.

One case relates to 783 payments he allegedly received linked to an arms deal before he came to power.

The Gupta family has been accused of using their friendship with Zuma to control state appointments and contacts.

Zuma, 75, has denied any wrongdoing.

To give effect to the decision of the committee‚ Zuma has the day to resign from office in compliance with the decision taken by the NEC.

The stalemate over his departure has left Africa's most developed economy in limbo, with a series of public events cancelled last week, including Thursday's State of the Nation address to Parliament.

The South African rand, which has tended to strengthen on signs Mr Zuma could step down before his second term ends mid next year, extended its gains to 0.7 per cent to the dollar on expectations Mr Zuma was on his way out.

And Zuma's close ties to the Guptas have been blamed for their rise.

Ramaphosa is a former trade unionist and Mandela ally who led talks to end apartheid in the early 1990s and then became a multi-millionaire businessman before returning to politics.

Leaders of South Africa's ruling ANC party are struggling to remove President Zuma from office amid reports he asked for concessions in exchange for his resignation.

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