South Africa's ANC decides to remove Zuma as head of state

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South Africa's 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 party's 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 due to run out mid-2019.

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

The rand, which has tended to strengthen on signs Zuma could step down before his second term ends mid next year, extended its gains to the dollar on expectations Zuma was on his way out.

Since Cyril Ramaphosa was voted in as party leader in December, Zuma has faced mounting calls from his party to end his scandal-plagued second term a year early.

The National Executive Committee meeting in a Pretoria hotel had all the ingredients for a showdown between Zuma stalwarts and those backing a swift transfer of power to deputy state president Ramaphosa.

The 65-year-old said on Sunday the meeting was expected to "finalize" the situation.

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

Since becoming president in 2009, Zuma has been dogged by scandal. Ramaphosa has put the focus on rooting out corruption and revitalizing economic growth.

CNBC

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