S. African deputy president confirms discussing with Zuma over his "stepping down"

08 February, 2018, 12:25 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa leaves Parliament in Cape Town South Africa Tuesday Feb. 6 2018 after it was announced that this years state of the nation address that was to be delivered on Thursday will be postponed. Officials say So

South African opposition parties said the country is in "limbo" as the ruling party struggles to resolve its internal conflict over Zuma, and that there are now two centres of power in the ANC and the government.

At 0645 GMT, the rand traded at 12.0450 per dollar, not far off its NY close of 12.0650 on Wednesday.

President Zuma is under growing pressure to quit in favour of his deputy and African National Congress (ANC) party leader, with local media suggesting an exit deal is being hammered out.

Political space for a meeting of the ANC NEC, the party's highest decision-making structure between national conferences, to decide on Zuma's future was clinched when parliament postponed the State of the Nation Address on Tuesday, five days after maintaining it would go ahead, albeit with an all-important rider of possible extraordinary events.

The meeting is scheduled for 10:00 in the Old Assembly Chamber at Parliament and - according to the agenda by Jackson Mthembu, the party's chief whip - Ramaphosa's address is the first item to be discussed.

"This will enable President Zuma and myself to conclude our discussions and report back to our organisation and the country in the coming days", Ramaphosa said.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa released a statement clarifying the reasons for postponing the NEC meeting, which was due to take place on Wednesday.

In recent years his links to the wealthy India-born Gupta family, who are alleged to have influenced the government through their relationship with Zuma, have caused his popularity to plummet.

Ramaphosa says he's certain the outcome of the current process will address all concerns around Zuma's position and unite the country.

He told News24 that he had later joined the meeting between Ramaphosa and Zuma.

He faces several court cases, including action relating to 783 payments he received allegedly linked to an arms deal before he came to power in 2009.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation has also urged him to step down.

Mr Ramaphosa, 65, is a former trade unionist who led talks to end apartheid rule in the early 1990s and then became a multi-millionaire businessman before returning to politics.



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