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19:52, 25 May 2018 Friday
15:03, 13 February 2018 Tuesday

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Zuma triggers crisis by refusing ANC's exit order
Zuma triggers crisis by refusing ANC's exit order

The power struggle over Zuma's departure put the president at loggerheads with Cyril Ramaphosa, his expected successor, who is the new head of the African National Congress.

World Bulletin / News Desk

South Africa braced Tuesday for a major political showdown as scandal-tainted President Jacob Zuma rejected a direct order from the ruling ANC party to leave office.

The party's powerful 107-member national executive committee (NEC) met for 13 hours at a hotel outside Pretoria, and decided in the early hours of Tuesday to "recall" Zuma from his post.

Ramaphosa and Ace Magashule, the party's secretary-general, had personally delivered a request for Zuma to resign to the president's official residence in Pretoria at about midnight.

But Zuma "was very arrogant. He told them he was not going anywhere as he did nothing wrong," an unnamed ANC committee member told the Mail and Guardian newspaper.

"He told them if the ANC issued a statement on its decision to recall him, he will retaliate."

Another committee member told AFP that Zuma's response was "hogwash" and that the president had asked for three more months in office.

"We just felt he meant three months of looting," the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity as he confirmed that the meeting had demanded Zuma's resignation.

The ANC -- which was once led by anti-apartheid struggle leader Nelson Mandela -- reportedly gave Zuma 48 hours to step down.



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