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South Africa's Zuma expected to respond to 'recall' order

Jacob Zuma

Susan Booysen, a politics professor at Stellenbosch University, said that Zuma may resign before the vote - albeit grudgingly. "I don't understand what's the rush", Zuma added. Should he resist the order to resign, the party's next option is a no-confidence motion in parliament.

Zuma said he would make another statement later Wednesday, raising the possibility that he might change his position and resign voluntarily rather than face the humiliation of his ouster by the combined votes of the ruling and opposition parties.

The ANC confirmed on Tuesday that its NEC had resolved to recall Zuma - following a 13-hour meeting that started on Monday afternoon and lasted into Tuesday morning.

Mr Magashule said the country needed to build on the "renewed hope" felt after the election of Mr Ramaphosa as ANC leader. The party earlier issued a statement‚ saying it had abandoned its bid to take the matter to court as it had come to an understanding with the ruling party.

The ANC said on Tuesday it had chose to "recall" Zuma, a euphemism for removing him from office, but gave him no firm deadline to resign, setting the stage for a potential fight to wrest him from power.

In a briefing to South African state television on Wednesday, Zuma said he was confused about why he was recalled by the ANC.

The decision to "recall" him "urgently" followed marathon talks of the ANC's top leadership body.

He also denied that his situation was similar to that of Mbeki, who Zuma's camp unseated in 2008, opening the way for Zuma to become SA President the following year.

Earlier another NGO, Business Leadership South Africa, also welcomed Magashule's comments, and urged the ANC's new leadership to act swiftly but constitutionally in removing their "deployee" from the high office.

An opposition-backed motion of no confidence had been scheduled for February 22, but its sponsors want the vote to be moved up to this week.

The speaker of South Africa's parliament wants to hold a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma on Thursday afternoon.

The president has been discredited by corruption scandals but has been clinging onto power. The president also faces almost 800 corruption allegations stemming from an arms deal during the 1990s.

It involved the president's allegedly corrupt relationship with a wealthy family of Indian immigrants headed by three brothers - Ajay, Atul and Rajesh Gupta - who built a business empire in mining, media, technology and engineering.

The raid is a sign that Cyril Ramaphosa, the new leader of the African National Congress (ANC), will move swiftly against those associated with the corruption allegations and mismanagement that have characterised Zuma's tenure, the Guardian reported.