Published: Thu, February 08, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Under pressure, South Africa's leader warns of "fake" news

Under pressure, South Africa's leader warns of

South Africa's Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says he is holding direct talks with embattled President Jacob Zuma over a transfer of power.

He added that postponing the ruling ANC party's emergency talks "will enable President Zuma and myself to conclude our discussions and report back to our organisation and the country in the coming days".

President Zuma is under growing pressure to quit in favour of his deputy and African National Congress (ANC) party leader, with local media suggesting an exit deal is being hammered out.

Ngqulunga said a full cabinet meeting had been scheduled for next Wednesday.

Clinging to power but for how much longer? Analysts say South Africa’s Jacob Zuma could be ousted over the weekend  AFP-File
Clinging to power but for how much longer? Analysts say South Africa’s Jacob Zuma could be ousted over the weekend AFP-File

Mr Zuma had been due to deliver the State of the Nation address on Thursday - the centrepiece of the political calendar that sets the government's priorities for the year ahead.

"But in a odd way - and we see it in particular this year - the fact the two offices do not run in sync is nearly a safety valve in that if a president is performing poorly, and Zuma has been performing poorly, there is then a chance the full term of office would not be served out".

At the centre of the talks was the future of the 75-year-old as head of state since he ended his ten-year mandate as ANC president.

Some students are planning to march to Parliament on Tuesday to demand that President Jacob Zuma address them on the issue of free higher education.

Parliament cancelled it out of concern over "calls for disruption", according to Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete. Zuma's office described a social media report that Russian President Vladimir Putin was going to visit the country this week as "fake" news.

In previous years, opposition lawmakers have shouted Zuma down and been ejected from the chamber by security guards in a melee of flying fists.

"It also shows that the ANC under Ramaphosa is the very same ANC it was under Zuma".

Ramaphosa's last line was by no means an admission Zuma would be gone in the next two weeks.

The power struggle has rocked the ANC, the renowned liberation movement that led the fight against white-minority rule but has since lost much public support.

Zuma is also accused of helping his friends and family benefit from lucrative government contracts. It also continued to announce Zuma's upcoming official schedule, saying the president would preside on Saturday over an awards ceremony in Cape Town for South Africans who have promoted the country's global image.

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