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South Africa's ruling ANC party to sack President Zuma via parliament

South African President Jacob Zuma (Photo by AFP)

South Africa's parliament is set to hold a vote of no-confidence in President Jacob Zuma amid an ongoing political stalemate in the country.

Paul Mashatile, Treasurer General of the African National Congress (ANC), told reporters in Cape Town on Wednesday that the ruling party would back a fast-tracked no-confidence motion against the president in the parliament on Thursday.

"We have now asked the chief whip to proceed with the motion of no confidence tomorrow in parliament... so that President Zuma is then removed," Mashatile said. "If President Zuma at some point will respond, he will respond, but we can't continue waiting. The decision has been taken and must be implemented."

"For us, as the ANC leadership, we can no longer wait beyond today," Mashatile added.

He said lawmakers would then "proceed to elect (Cyril) Ramaphosa as president of the republic”, perhaps as early as Thursday or Friday.

The power struggle over Zuma's departure has put him at loggerheads with deputy President Ramaphosa, his expected successor. Zuma was replaced as the ANC leader in December last year by his Ramaphosa, but he has so far resisted calls to resign as president.

President Zuma now faces an ignominious end to his nine scandal-plagued years in power. His years in office have been marred by corruption scandals, a stagnating economy and a sliding support for the ANC. 

The ANC said on Tuesday that it had decided to “recall” Zuma, meaning a removal from office. The ANC’s national executive committee reached its decision after meeting for 13 hours at a hotel outside Pretoria.

The committee "recalled" Zuma from his post after days of failed closed-door negotiations with Ramaphosa.

Party officials said he had been handed an order from the ANC to resign as head of state.

Treasurer General of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) Paul Mashatile (rear L), and Parliamentary Chief-Whip of the ANC Jackson Mthembu (front L) speak during a press conference, after an emergency ANC caucus meeting in parliament on February 14, 2018, in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by AFP)

Meanwhile, Police in South Africa has raided the house of a family ensnared in a political scandal involving embattled President Zuma, arresting one member of the clan. The raid had been part of an investigation into allegations of influence peddling in the government.


Zuma says pressure to resign is ‘ujnfair’

Zuma in an interview with South Africa’s state broadcaster on Wednesday defended himself, saying pressure for him to resign is “unfair” and that he has not been told what he has done wrong.

In the rambling 45-minute interview, the president stated that he had been unfairly treated and was given no reason why he should quit.

"I found it unfair, very unfair to me . . . what is this hurry, what are you rushing for?"

"It was very unfair to me that this issue is raised," he said.

"Nobody has ever provided the reasons. Nobody is saying what I have done."

Elsewhere in the interview, The embattled president did not directly refuse to resign, but said that he disagreed with "the manner in which the decision is being implemented."

The president concluded by saying  that the party was being plunged into a crisis its members would regret.  

"I'm being victimized," he said.

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