Political crisis in South Africa: President Jacob Zuma told to step down


South African president Jacob Zuma's days as Head of State appear numbered after his own party resolved to remove him from office at a marathon meeting that ended early on Tuesday morning.

The rand strengthened from R11.84 to R11.81 against the U.S. dollar at 15:16 on Wednesday, as President Jacob Zuma said in an interview the African National Congress had not given him proper reasons why he should resign.

Ace Magashule, the ANC's secretary-general, told reporters the party's National Executive Committee (NEC) decided the removal should be "treated with urgency".

Since Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was elected party leader in December, Zuma has faced mounting calls from his party to end his scandal-plagued second term scheduled to run out in mid-2019.

If Zuma refuses his party's instruction, the matter could go to parliament for a vote on a motion of no confidence.

"We don't want to keep South Africa waiting".

"President Zuma has not been found guilty at any court of law", said Magashule, calling for his former ally to be respected and claiming that Zuma had not made any demands in the transition talks such as immunity from prosecution or that the state pays his ongoing legal bills.

Two other suspects are expected to hand themselves in, the police said.

South Africa's cabinet meeting set for Wednesday has been postponed indefinitely, the government's communication service said.

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"What exactly is the reason for deciding to recall President Zuma?"

But Magashule, during the media briefing at Luthuli House, said that it would be expected that Zuma would respond today.

South Africa's ruling party moved to replace the defiant President Jacob Zuma as early as Thursday while police raided his business associates at the center of corruption scandals that have infuriated the country.

However, ANC chiefs had chose to recall him given the "uncertainty and anxiety" in the country.

The President of the country says we are spending more time discussing "Zuma must go" than on policy issues and "I don't understand why".

National Director of Public of Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams also announced on Tuesday that he had given prosecutors until next Friday to recommend to him whether to reinstate corruption charges against Zuma. Both the Guptas and Zuma deny any wrongdoing.

Ramaphosa, the deputy president, must revive the economy and crack down on what he has admitted is rampant government corruption if he is to boost the party's tarnished reputation before an uphill election battle next year.

South Africa's top court ruled in 2016 that Zuma violated the constitution following an investigation of multimillion-dollar upgrades to his private home using state money.