Zuma Calls Press Conference As Ruling ANC Moves To Force Him Out

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During a 13-hour marathon in Pretoria on Monday, the ANC's executive committee tried to end a prolonged standoff with Zuma, who has proposed to resign within three to six months. "A former cabinet official blew the whistle and said the Guptas offered him a $50 million dollar bribe", Granitz reports.

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.

"We will see what comrade Zuma's response is, but it's obvious that we want [ANC president] comrade [Cyril] Ramaphosa to take over as the president of the country".

The vote will take place in Parliament on Thursday, if Zuma doesn't heed the ANC's call to resign before then.

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Speaking to local news station News Channel Eight , he added: 'It's the craziest thing I ever went through. He suddenly took off both the sides, placed them down and went to seek help. "It was already like this.

Earlier on Wednesday, News24 reported that the Hawks have arrested three people, reportedly including one of the Gupta brothers, in raids carried out in the morning. The Guptas and Zuma have denied any wrongdoing.

But Zuma would not be legally obliged to step down and he could technically carry on as President of South Africa despite losing the faith of his party.

"I'm being victimized here", Zuma said, complaining that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, his expected successor, and other ANC leaders had not given him clear reasons about why he should go.

Ruling party leaders outlined a speedy timetable, with Ramaphosa set to be elected in parliament to succeed Zuma in time to deliver the delayed state of the nation address on Friday evening. "Nobody is saying what I have done", he said. "We are of the view that Mr Zuma has violated the constitution and naturally must be removed‚" DA leader Mmusi Maimane said.

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As well as the Gupta claims, Mr Zuma is also waiting for South Africa's chief prosecutor to make a decision on whether he will face old charges of corruption tied to an arms deal two decades ago.

Zuma is under pressure to step down, in part because of links to the Guptas. Opposition parties have clamoured for a debate on a motion of no confidence in the president, scheduled for February 22, to be brought forward so that Parliament could seal his fate.

"I think Jacob Zuma is nearly daring the ANC to remove him through a motion of no confidence because he knows that would be damaging for unity in the party", analyst Abdul Waheed Patel told AFP.

"We expect the ZAR to test the R11.80/$ level if the president does resign, but the longer the saga drags on the more hard it will become for the ZAR to gain ground", Cilliers said earlier.

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