South Africa: ANC 'decides Zuma must go'

Would changing the way South Africans elect their leaders save the ANC from itself

South Africa's ANC party confirmed today it had made a decision to "recall" scandal-tainted President Jacob Zuma from office but said there was no deadline for him to resign, pitching the country into further uncertainty.

The National Executive Committee (NEC), the party's highest decision-making body, is expected to finalise the issue on Tuesday and brief the nation on its decision, after marathon meetings that continued into late Monday night.

President of the ANC, Cyril Ramaphosa at a stage left the meeting at St.Georges Hotel, outside of Pretoria to discuss with Zuma.

A NEC meeting was called off last week following direct talks between Zuma and Ramaphosa, who is the deputy president as well as the new leader of the party.

Zuma's presidency has been marred by corruption scandals, slow economic growth and record unemployment that have fuelled public anger.

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The leader of the main opposition Democratic Alliance party, Mmusi Maimane, maintained they were calling for early elections because the factionalism in the ANC was holding the country to ransom. "It happened before but I found it very odd to be told by my organisation that I must go", the president said. As the new president, Ramaphosa would not have the power to grant Zuma immunity from prosecution.

Should Zuma refuse to obey the NEC's order to step down, the party could tell its lawmakers to use their majority in parliament to vote him out of office, clearing the way for Ramaphosa to take over.

In the meeting dubbed D-Day by local media, Zuma is expected to finally resign after weeks of pressure to do so.

South Africa is set to hold a presidential election next year.

"That motion was scheduled initially for February 22 this year".

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A defiant Zuma told state broadcaster SABC that he had been treated unfairly by the ruling African National Congress, which had told him to resign by the end of Wednesday after rejecting his request to stay in office for several more months.

Zuma, however, is holding on - he refused to resign, News24 reported.

It comes after police raided the home of a business family linked to President Zuma, describing it as a "crime scene". Late previous year, South Africa's top court ruled that he violated the constitution when he paid for multimillion-dollar upgrades to his private home with state funds. Zuma was implicated in at least one of the corruption convictions stemming from that deal and was forced out of his role as deputy president at the time.

Zuma, who took office in 2009, has been embroiled in corruption scandals throughout most of his two terms.

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