Bonds weaker as no date is set for Zuma's exit

The governing ANC party has called a meeting of its top body for Wednesday to decide on Mr Zuma's future.

Zuma remains head of state, while Ramaphosa is the new leader of the ruling African National Congress party, elected to the post in December.

Zuma's deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, says he is in "direct talks" with the 75-year-old leader to replace him.

Speaker Mbete told reporters that the State of the Nation address had been postponed because there was "little likelihood" that it would be held without disruption.

The ANC's top six most powerful officials met Zuma late on Sunday at his official residence in Pretoria but there was no announcement of the outcome.

According to Ramaphosa, his discussions with Zuma "were constructive and lay the basis for a speedy resolution of the matter in the interests of the country and its people".

Zuma 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 said progress has been made in their discussion with Zuma.

"Zuma basically said to us: 'I'm not going anywhere".

His ANC successor, Mr Ramaphosa, is out to pull off a similar move before President Zuma's second term ends next year.

South Africans are abuzz over what could be scandal-tainted President Jacob Zuma's final days in office. Opposition leaders will meet on Monday to discuss a scheduled motion of no confidence in Zuma on February 22 as well as parliament's mandate to elect a new president in the event that Zuma is removed, the parties said.

They have given the ANC until Sunday to get rid of him.ANC leaders were yesterday still in the dark regarding the "de al" that Ramaphosa and Zuma have agreed on.

Mr Zuma had been due to deliver the State of the Nation address on Thursday - the centrepiece of the political calendar that sets the government's priorities for the year ahead.

It would need to call a meeting of the National Executive Committee to force Zuma to quit. This situation has created two centres of power in the country, with tensions between the government and the ruling party's new leadership team.

Mashatile went on to say: "Where we are now, if the president does not want to resign voluntarily, we will recall him, like we did with President [Thabo] Mbeki".

  • Jacqueline Ellis