South Africa's Zuma stalls as police target allies

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule yesterday

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule yesterday

South African President Jacob Zuma says ruling party leaders have not given him clear reasons for why he should resign and he calls his treatment "unfair".

On Tuesday, the ANC ordered Zuma to step down as president of the country, giving him no firm deadline but saying the party was sure he would comply and "respond".

The ANC said on Tuesday that he had agreed in principle to step down, but only if he could oversee a transition lasting three to six months, a condition the ANC rejected.

However, with the ruling African National Congress (ANC) backing an opposition-led no-confidence motion likely to be heard on Thursday, Zuma appears to have run out of road after nine years in office dogged by scandal and economic stagnation.

Cape Town - The Presidency had initially planned to hold a media briefing for President Jacob Zuma at the Union Building at 10:00 on Wednesday, but the request was later withdrawn, an official email shows.

The labour federation's general secretary, Bheki Ntshalintshali, said on Wednesday that the threats mentioned by Zuma in an interview with the SABC would not materialise.

"The rand is definitely pricing-in the removal of Zuma but it is showing some signs of rotation as the saga carries on", said analyst IG Group Shaun Murison.

Zuma was elected president in 2009.

Police arrested three people in raids Wednesday on various properties of the Gupta brothers, close associates of the embattled South African President Jacob Zuma.

The ANC has tried for weeks to get Zuma, whose term expires next year, to resign following allegations of corruption.

The aim is to remove Mr Zuma from power so deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa can take over straight away.

The uncertainly surrounding Zuma's anticipated response comes in the aftermath of an early morning police raid of a wealthy Indian-born family with deep ties to Zuma.

The president has been discredited by corruption scandals but has been clinging onto power.

Ramaphosa narrowly defeated Zuma's ex-wife and preferred successor, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, in the leadership vote, forcing him to tread carefully in handling Zuma for fear of deepening rifts in the party a year ahead of an election.

An elite police unit entered the compound of the Gupta family, which has been accused of using its connections to the president to influence Cabinet appointments and win state contracts.

Originally from India, the Guptas became part of Mr Zuma's inner circle, to the point where they were reportedly hiring and firing government ministers.

South Africa's top court had ruled that Zuma violated the country's constitution following an investigation of multimillion-dollar upgrades to his private home that were paid for by the state.

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