Jacob Zuma will step aside in days, vows ANC chief Cyril Ramaphosa

Jacob Zuma will step aside in days, vows ANC chief Cyril Ramaphosa

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

The presidency released pictures of the two men sitting together and smiling at a cabinet committee meeting in Cape Town.

Mr Ramaphosa said direct talks were an opportunity to reach an agreement without spreading discord or division.

The formal National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting has been set for 17 and 18 February, the ANC's party leader, Cyril Ramaphosa, said in a statement.

Ramaphosa and Zuma's meeting was held following the decision by Parliament's presiding officers to postpone the State of the Nation Address that was scheduled for today.

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The leaked recording emerges amid other reports that Zuma has been negotiating terms to step down.

The new president of the leading political party in South Africa has inspired business confidence, with his pledges to tackle corruption within the country as well as his proven business savvy.

At the centre of the talks was the future of the 75-year-old as head of state since he ended his ten-year mandate as ANC president.

Parliament speaker Baleka Mbete told television broadcaster eNCA that Ramaphosa would soon give an update on the expected transition of power.

While Zuma is due to step down in mid-2019, his nine-year tenure has been marred by a series of scandals and policy missteps.

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Speculation about Zuma's fate was fuelled after the State of the Nation Address was indefinitely postponed on Tuesday.

Markets have also been captivated by the possibility that the South African president will be recalled by the ANC, an initiative being led by Ramaphosa.

He did, however, indicate that the discussion between Ramaphosa and Zuma deferred the pressing need for the NEC to discuss his exit. Many former supporters in the ruling party want him to go.

Despite the attacks on him, Mr Zuma still enjoys some backing within the party, particularly among rural members and within his own Zulu community.

His presidency has been dominated by an economic slowdown, record unemployment and allegations of corruption.

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