UPDATE 7-South Africa's ANC decides to remove Zuma as head of state -source

From Reuters - February 12, 2018

PRETORIA/JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africas African National Congress party executive committee has decided to recall, or remove, President Jacob Zuma as head of state, a senior ANC source told Reuters on Tuesday, after a 13-hour meeting of the partys top leadership.

Since Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was elected party leader in December, Zuma has faced mounting calls from his party to end his scandal-plagued second term scheduled to run out in mid-2019.

The 75-year-old Zuma has been South Africas most controversial president since the end of white-minority rule in 1994, overseeing a tumultuous nine years marked by economic decline and numerous allegations of corruption.

The partys executive committee has the authority to order Zuma to step down as head of state, although there is domestic media speculation that he might refuse.

Ramaphosa, 65, went to meet Zuma late on Monday before returning to the meeting that sealed the presidents fate.

We decided to recall Zuma. He hasnt been told yet, the senior ANC source said.

Cyril went to speak with him, the source said, adding that when Ramaphosa returned to the meeting, the discussions were tense and difficult on whether to recall Zuma.

The decision to remove Zuma was widely reported by local media.

ANC officials and Zumas spokesman could not be reached for comment.

The SABC state broadcaster, citing sources, reported that Ramaphosa met Zuma to pass the message that the ANCs executive group had given him 48 hours to resign as head of state.

Local news service Eye Witness News reported, citing sources, that when Ramaphosa went to see Zuma, the president said: Do what you want to do when asked whether he would agree to resign or face a recall.


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