End game looms for South Africa's Zuma

End game looms for South Africa's Zuma

End game looms for South Africa's Zuma

He said that as a result of progress in the talks‚ the ANC national executive committee meeting scheduled for Wednesday evening was postponed.

Earlier, Baleka Mbete, the speaker of the national assembly, said the ANC had postponed Zuma's State of the Nation address, saying the decision was taken in the "best interest of parliament and the country".

There is no word on who will address state of the nation address, and no indication if the ruling party plans to remove Zuma as the president.

South Africa's Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says he is holding direct talks with embattled President Jacob Zuma over a transfer of power.

"Ramaphosa has sidelined President Jacob Zuma quicker than expected, prompting most of Zuma's allies to withdraw their support", Darias Jonker, an Africa analyst at risk-advisory firm Eurasia Group, said by email.

On Monday, a decision was taken by the party's national working committee to hold the special NEC to discuss Zuma's recall.

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Zuma has been accused of corruption, fraud, money laundering and racketeering in relation to an arms deal signed by the ANC in the 1990s.

Zuma, who is not due to stand down as president until after next year's election, has become increasingly sidelined since the closely fought election of Ramaphosa as leader in December. The 75-year-old's annual address to parliament has now been postponed, possibly by a week. Developments are moving quickly with little explanation from parliament or the African National Congress.

With a general election set for 2019, the ANC will be keen to distance itself from any more negative press - and therefore it is perhaps not surprising that Mr Ramaphosa was elected the party leader on an anti-corruption platform.

Ramaphosa acknowledged South Africans' concerns about the uncertainty surrounding Zuma's removal.

Ramphosa said that he and Zuma had kicked off discussions on Tuesday night and aimed to wrap them up "in the coming days".

The machinations within the ANC are an ironic recycling of history for Zuma, who engineered the ouster of former president Thabo Mbeki in 2008 shortly after taking over the helm of the ANC.

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While the legislature is due to debate a motion of no-confidence proposed by the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters party on February 22, it "may not be needed", the ANC's chief parliamentary whip, Jackson Mthembu, told eNCA television. She said a new date is to be announced soon.

"The allegations are completely baseless", Ngqulunga said in a statement.

"The king is a bargainer, he could help Cyril (Ramaphosa) heal KwaZulu-Natal after Zuma goes".

In recent years his links to the wealthy India-born Gupta family, who are alleged to have influenced the government through their relationship with Mr Zuma, have caused his popularity to plummet. Should Zuma deliver the address, the Economic Freedom Fighters have promised similar actions.

The president has been enmeshed in a series of scandals but denies wrongdoing.

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