South African leader Jacob Zuma ordered to resign


Zuma was expected to respond on Wednesday to an order from the ANC to resign as head of state, party officials said.

ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule at the press conference in which he confirmed that President Jacob Zuma had been recalled.

The ruling party wants Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to take over from Zuma, who has not responded to an ANC order to quit.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions said if Zuma does not agree to being recalled, the ruling party should follow the parliamentary process of a motion of no confidence.

"Once you resist, we are going to let you be thrown out through the vote of no confidence because you disrespect the organization and you disobey it, therefore we are going to let you be devoured by the vultures", Mantashe said.

Many other graft allegations against him have centred on the three Gupta brothers, who are accused of unfairly obtaining lucrative government contracts and even being able to choose Zuma's ministerial appointments.

Zuma is expected to make a decision on whether he will resign on Wednesday.

But the ANC leadership says the scandal-tainted president must leave office straight away and has chose to "recall" him.

Besides his controversial relationship with the Guptas, who were born in India but moved to South Africa in the early 1990s, Zuma has 783 counts of corruption outstanding against him relating to a $2.5 billion state arms deal in the late 1990s.

If Zuma refuses to resign, Ramaphosa's allies in the ANC's National Executive Committee (NEC) have said they will push for a no-confidence vote in Parliament, which would require a simple majority to pass.

South African President Jacob Zuma was replaced as African National Congress leader in December.

Although Magashule and Ramaphosa have both spoken of the need to preserve Zuma's dignity and to avoid humiliating him, the spectacle of a party dislodging a man determined to stay on has been anything but dignified.

The impasse over the presidency has highlighted the disarray within a party that previously was the main movement against white minority rule and has led South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994. Zuma is implicated in the case, but he and the Guptas deny involvement.

For its part, the ANC has faltered over the years to force Zuma out and has desperately ramped up pressure against the leader in recent days to hammer the nail in his coffin.

The labour federation's general secretary, Bheki Ntshalintshali, said on Wednesday that the threats mentioned by Zuma in an interview with the SABC would not materialise.

The impasse has plunged South Africa - the continent's most developed economy - into confusion over who is running the country, with national events cancelled last week including the annual State of the Nation Address to parliament.