South Africa in 'limbo,' opposition parties say

Loyalists to Mr Zuma want to see him finish his term in office

He spoke to News24 on Tuesday evening after ANC's announcement that the much-anticipated national executive committee (NEC) meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, had been postponed.

Parliament has chose to ask Zuma to delay the state-of-the-nation address due to fears of violence, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete told reporters outside Parliament Cape Town.

South Africa on yesterday postponed its State of the Nation address, the keynote political event of the year, as the ruling ANC party grappled over the future of President Jacob Zuma.

Many ANC members are pushing for Ramaphosa, the new head of the party, to replace Zuma, 75, as president immediately.

At that meeting, Mr. Zuma reportedly refused to step down as the country's president to make way for the newly-elected party president, Cyril Ramaphosa.

Zuma now faces the toughest test yet, when he is scheduled Wednesday to face the party's National Executive Committee, which has the authority to recall the president, but can not actually force him to resign. "Our most important consideration is that we don't believe South Africa should wish for us to embarrass the president of the republic, in any way whatsoever", Duarte said.

The ANC on Tuesday night announced that its NEC meeting had been pushed out to the weekend of February 17-18, just days before the scheduled Budget Speech in Parliament. Many members of the ruling African National Congress party have turned against him.

Since replacing Zuma as ANC leader, Ramaphosa has been delivering a strong anti-corruption message. "We will tell the court that his party doesn't want him, they say he must go so why should he speak?" he asked.

Zuma's almost two terms in office have been blighted by hundreds of corruption allegations, but he has so far managed to dodge prosecution.

While Zuma has held on in the past, his position is deteriorating.

He is still fighting almost 800 counts of corruption over an arms deal from the late 1990s and his ties with the Gupta brothers, a family of wealthy Indian-born businessmen, are the subject of a judicial inquiry on grand-level corruption.

Ramaphosa is looking to revive the economy and tackle record unemployment before the 2019 elections that come amid falling public support for ANC.

Unlike in August when Zuma survived a no-confidence vote, a significant portion of the ANC now wants him gone.

Pressure is growing as Zuma is set to deliver a state of the nation address on Thursday.

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

If Zuma refuses a call by the executive committee to resign, it could organise a caucus meeting in parliament to discuss ways of removing the president, such as bringing a no-confidence motion or supporting one from the opposition.

The parties say there are now two centers of power in the ruling party and the government.

Zuma has been embroiled in scandals, including multi-million-dollar upgrades to his private home with state money and his association with the Guptas, a business family accused of looting state enterprises and influencing Cabinet ministers for their own benefit.

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