Jacob Zuma refuses to resign, wants ANC to explain recall decision

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

South Africa's ruling African National Congress will formally request that President Jacob Zuma step down after he refused to resign, media reports say.

Earlier, Mr Ramaphosa left the meeting of the ANC's national executive committee to travel to Mr Zuma's residence, where he is said to have told the president he would be recalled if he did not step down.

After a 13-hour meeting of the ANC's leadership, the party's secretary-general on Tuesday said Zuma should resign promptly and that a response is expected from the president on Wednesday.

Zuma's hold over the ANC was shaken in December when his chosen successor - his former wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma - narrowly lost to Ramaphosa in a vote to be the new party leader.

Besides the pressure from the ANC, Zuma is facing a no-confidence motion in parliament brought by the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters.

The African National Congress (ANC), South Africa's ruling party, has made a decision to remove President Jacob Zuma from his role, a source told Reuters. "It happened before but I found it very unusual to be told by my organisation that I must go", the president said.

On Sunday, Cyril Ramaphosa, the new leader of the African National Congress (ANC), addressed a rally in Cape Town marking Mandela's release from prison in 1990.

Zuma said he would make another statement later Wednesday, raising the possibility that he might change his position and resign voluntarily rather than face the humiliation of his ouster by the combined votes of the ruling and opposition parties.

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Zuma joined the ANC in 1958 and is considered one of the party stalwarts.

Since becoming president in 2009, Mr Zuma has been dogged by scandal.

The ANC is trying to remove Zuma allow Ramaphosa, 65, to take over as president more than a year before the 2019 elections, giving him time to convince voters that he's committed to meeting his pledges to rebuild a battered economy and clamp down on the graft that critics say has become synonymous with the Zuma era. Parliament could also hold a vote of no confidence this month to force him out.

That meeting lasted less than an hour, with Zuma refusing to comply.

The ANC has not officially confirmed its plans, but party sources have described them to South African media outlets.

In 2008, Zuma's supporters pushed out then-president Thabo Mbekivia a "recall" over allegations of abuse of power.

The President's term had been due to end next year.

Zuma has been discredited by a series of scandals, although he denies wrongdoing. Prosecutors are also mulling reviving corruption charges tied to an arms deal two decades ago. In 2016, South Africa's top court ruled that Zuma had acted unconstitutionally when he used $15 million in public funds to upgrade his private home, and ordered him to repay some of the money.

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