Ruling party gives ultimatum to South African president

Top leaders of South Africa’s governing party ordered President Jacob Zuma to step down and wsay they will vote him out if he does not

South Africa's parliament will hold a vote of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma on Thursday, the governing ANC party said on Wednesday.

Zuma has resisted increasing pressure to quit since December 2017, when Cyril Ramaphosa replaced him as leader of the ANC.

Zuma's spokesman could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

South African media is calling President Zuma's seemingly inevitable exit "Zexit". "The most pressing issue is that we get Ramaphosa elected as president and everything will flow from there", said Mashatile. With few allies left, his resignation is still a possibility.

The ANC had previously supported Zuma through several periods of scandal. The ANC top brass rejected his offer. Zuma and the Guptas are implicated in the case.

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"Once you resist we are going to let you be thrown out through the vote of no confidence because you disrespect the organisation and you disobey it, therefore we are going to let you be devoured by the vultures", Mantashe said in a message to Zuma, according to the Independent.

Domestic media have speculated that Zuma might yet defy the party's wishes, forcing it into the indignity of having to unseat him in parliament.

While Zuma, 75, has survived a number of no confidence votes before, his supporters now see him as a political liability. "My problem is that nobody has provided to me, even in the discussions that we are talking about, what have I done".

In a rambling televised speech on Wednesday, Zuma said he did not "agree" with the ANC leadership, "as there is no evidence of if I have done anything wrong". "I felt I am being victimized here".

Zuma has denied all charges.

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Magashule said Zuma asked for three to six months to complete the job, but said the party felt that was too long, given his sinking approval ratings as critical elections approach next year.

He spent years fighting a bid by opposition parties to have those charges reinstated and fending off allegations that he allowed members of the Gupta family, who are in business with one of his sons, to influence cabinet appointments and the award of state contracts.

He was scheduled to stand down next year after serving the maximum two terms after coming to power in 2009.

The sources who spoke to News24 on condition of anonymity, could not say if the meeting had decided on the next step if Zuma refused to resign.

"I think Jacob Zuma is nearly daring the ANC to remove him through a motion of no confidence because he knows that would be damaging for unity in the party", analyst Abdul Waheed Patel told AFP.

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