South Africa's President Jacob Zuma under mounting pressure to quit

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Duarte confirmed that if Zuma resigned, deputy president Ramaphosa would automatically take office.

South Africa's political opposition has said Zuma is a discredited figure who shouldn't deliver the speech on Thursday, and that the occasion should be postponed until the ANC party sorts out its internal conflict.

Asked about the ongoing talks surrounding Zuma, ANC spokeswoman Khusela Diko said: "There is no crisis within the ANC, we are used to robust discussions".

"So, we are saying the ANC should not recall President Zuma", said Mr Thabisani Mabhena.

The spokesman declined to speculate on whether the king, a key ally of Zuma, who is also a Zulu, would add his voice to those urging the president to step down.

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On Monday, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) said it would not allow Mr Zuma to address the nation and would, instead, push for a no-confidence debate.

Local media said that Mbete made a decision to hold the vote in response to a request from the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), an opposition party that has often disrupted proceedings in parliament because of corruption allegations against the president.

The ANC supporters, who have been stationed outside Luthuli House since yesterday morning, dispersed the crowd of BLF members as they alighted from the vehicle which transported them.

Each year the state of the nation-the state of the union address as it's known in the United States-is meant to set out a map for the path a country will follow for the next year at least. His comrades in the party want him out even before the impeachment process and argue his continued stay would impact negatively on the party's performance during the 2019 general elections.

"We are not going to discuss the outcome with you because we don't know what the outcome will be, " she said.

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But Zuma loyalists have said that the serving president should complete his second and final term in office, which would end when elections are held next year.

Opposition leader Julius Malema, a former ANC member, said Mr Zuma had refused to resign at the meeting late on Sunday.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Nelson Mandela Foundation said that Zuma "must go, sooner rather than later".

Political pundits say Zuma may be keen to broker a deal with the ANC for his protected from prosecution in exchange for stepping down.

But it's the fashion on the red carpet before the Sona that always steals the show, with politicians and invited guests dressed to the nines for the opening of Parliament.

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