ANC says South African president Jacob Zuma must leave office

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Embattled South African President Jacob Zuma was clinging to power Tuesday after his ruling African National Congress party held a marathon meeting to decide his future.

New ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa and Secretary General Ace Magashule traveled late Monday to deliver the party's decision to Zuma at his residence in capital Pretoria.

The rand's fortunes have been closely tied to political outcomes over the past couple of months, with the currency rallying on any sign of an end to the corruption scandals and economic decline that have tainted Zuma's time in office.

Zuma, 75, will now face a vote of confidence in parliament that he is expected to lose.

The leader of the main opposition Democratic Alliance party, Mmusi Maimane, maintained they were calling for early elections because the factionalism in the ANC was holding the country to ransom.

"The decision by the NEC to recall its deployee was taken only after exhaustive discussion on the impact such a recall would have on the country".

An election poster of President Jacob Zuma is defaced in the downtown area of Johannesburg.

But the ANC rejected Zuma's proposal and the President's current stance is unclear.

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South Africa's economy, the most sophisticated on the continent, has stagnated during Zuma's nine-year tenure, with banks and mining companies reluctant to invest because of policy uncertainty and rampant corruption.

Zuma has resisted increasing pressure to quit since December, when Ramaphosa replaced him as leader of the ANC. He has previously survived eight parliamentary no-confidence votes since becoming president in 2009.

He said there was no deadline given to Zuma, who had asked the party to give him three months before he could vacate the Union Buildings.

The ANC leadership has been lambasted by commentators and social media by users who say the party has been "too soft" on Zuma by not forcing him out of office without delay to end a political stalemate that last week saw the Parliament annual opening postponed.

Zuma, however, is holding on - he refused to resign, News24 reported.

The NEC can issue a recall - essentially a demand that Mr Zuma step down.

In recent weeks, attempts by senior party members to convince Mr Zuma to leave have come to nothing. The president also faces almost 800 corruption allegations stemming from an arms deal during the 1990s.

The State of Capture report by South Africa's former state prosecutor Thuli Mandolesa accused the Gupta brothers of using their wealth to influence government business including the choice of ministers appointed by president Jacob Zuma.

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