Published: Wed, February 07, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

SOUTH AFRICA: Zuma future in balance as ANC leaders meet

SOUTH AFRICA: Zuma future in balance as ANC leaders meet

South Africa's parliament has taken the extraordinary step of postponing President Jacob Zuma's state of the nation address on Thursday, as pressure grows on him to resign.

Parliamentary Speaker Baleka Mbete told reporters outside the parliament in Cape Town they had written to the president informing him about the postponement. Other options for his removal include impeachment proceedings in parliament or a vote on an opposition-sponsored motion of no confidence that is scheduled for February 22.

Each year the state of the nation-the state of the union address as it's known in the United States-is meant to set out a map for the path a country will follow for the next year at least.

Jacob Zuma is fighting for his political life as he resisted attempts from inside the ruling ANC party to oust him.

The top six was expected to meet this weekend to discuss Zuma's fate, in anticipation of the State of Nation Address (SONA), which has been postponed.

The SACP earlier demanded that Zuma confirm or deny the rumours‚ which it said was based on "emerging information". A 13 board member shake up, including a newly appointed chairperson, sees the presidency removing those former executives tainted by allegations of corruption.

Asked about the ongoing talks surrounding Zuma, ANC spokeswoman Khusela Diko said: "There is no crisis within the ANC, we are used to robust discussions".

The ANC is yet to make an official announcement on the matter, but it has called for an urgent meeting with its national working committee to further deal with the matter. They are said to have failed to convince him to stand aside.

Zwelithini is the influential traditional head of South Africa's biggest ethnic group, with around 10 million first-language Zulu speakers out of a total population of around 55 million, but he holds no role in government.

Opposition parties have said Zuma should not give the speech and had called for a postponement.

"Under any circumstances. Our most important consideration is that we do not believe that South Africa should wish for us to embarrass the president of the republic".

But, on Friday, the party's Treasurer-General Paul Mashatile told CNBC Africa that he wants Zuma to step down voluntarily while others in the party have also indicated it would be better for Zuma to resign rather than be impeached or removed through a motion of no confidence.

The divisions Zuma's leadership has exposed within the ANC were evident outside the party's headquarters in Johannesburg on Monday (Tuesday NZT), where the president's supporters and opponents staged rival protests amid a strong police presence.

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