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South African President defies ANC's order to resign

IANS  |  Johannesburg 

South African Jacob on Tuesday defied an ultimatum from the ruling to resign within 48 hours, pitching the nation into an unprecedented political crisis.

The decision to ask to stand down or face being stripped of his office was taken at a specially convened emergency session of the ANC's national executive committee (NEC) near Pretoria, the administrative capital, late Monday night, reports

The meeting was called after it became clear over that nearly five days of talks between Zuma, who has been the since 2009, and Cyril Ramaphosa, who took over the ANC's leadership in December, had failed.

After nearly 10 hours of heated debate, Ramaphosa and a key ally of left the meeting to drive to the President's residence to deliver an ultimatum: stand down or face "recall", a technical term for the process of forcing an ANC to leave their post.

If Zuma is ousted by a no-confidence vote, the of parliament will serve as an until elected representatives chose a new

However a "defiant" Zuma demanded a three month "notice period" before resigning, an ANC told

A press conference has been announced at the here later on Tuesday.

Zuma headed the ANC, the party that led South Africans to freedom from apartheid in 1994, from December 2007 to December 2017.

His nine years as President have been marred by economic decline and multiple charges of corruption that undermined the image and legitimacy of ANC.

However, the 75-year-old retains significant support inside the party and at a local level in many parts of South Africa, reported.

Ralph Mathekga, a political analyst and author, said: "Zuma is not just a person. He is a system. There are a whole lot of people whose fortunes are tied to his.

"We are watching a battle for the soul of the ANC. It's a referendum on the true balance of power within the party."



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, February 13 2018. 11:52 IST