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South Africa’s ANC to hold talks on Zuma’s future

(FILES) This file photo taken on May 14, 2017 shows South African President and ruling party African National Congress President Jacob Zuma delivering a speech during an inter-faith prayer held to pray for him in Durban, South Africa. South Africa’s ruling ANC party warned its legislators on August 4, 2017 that voting for a motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma next week would be a disaster for the country. / AFP PHOTO / RAJESH JANTILAL

Senior members of South Africa’s ANC party will hold an emergency meeting Monday to discuss whether President Jacob Zuma should stay in office after he reportedly refused to resign.

Zuma, whose presidency has been engulfed by corruption scandals, is due to deliver the annual state of the nation address on Thursday, despite growing calls for him to step down.

Many African National Congress (ANC) members are pushing for Cyril Ramaphosa, the new head of the party, to replace Zuma as president immediately.

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

The ANC’s 26-person National Working Committee was due at meet at Luthuli House, the party headquarters in Johannesburg, at 2:00 pm (1200 GMT).

“Yes, it is happening, it will be dealing with this situation,” a party official told AFP, declining to be named, in reply to a question about the meeting and media speculation over Zuma’s possible exit.

Zuma’s presidency has been dominated by graft scandals. He faces several court cases, including over 783 payments he allegedly received linked to an arms deal before he came to power in 2009.

His hold on the ANC was shaken when his chosen successor — his former wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma — lost out to Ramaphosa in the closely-fought race to be party leader in December.

Zuma could leave office either by resigning, through losing a motion of no-confidence in parliament or impeachment proceedings.

He could also be recalled by the ANC, forcing him to step down.

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