Pressure grows on South African President Zuma to step down

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A committee of top officials from the African National Congress, South Africa's ruling party, is due to meet on Monday after its six most-senior leaders met with President Jacob Zuma, who is facing mounting pressure to step down.

The ANC's National Executive Committee mandated the top six to discuss with Zuma what the party is calling a "leadership transition".

Deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa is set to take over from Zuma, should he step down.

Zuma and the Guptas denied any wrongdoing, though the president paid back some money for the home upgrades after the Constitutional Court ruled against him. Zuma's second and final term as president is due to end in mid-2019.

It added that the meeting could also determine whether Zuma will deliver the state of the nation address scheduled for Thursday.

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The rand, which tends to strengthen on signs Zuma could leave office, pared losses on the announcement from parliament.

In a fresh attempt to kick out President Jacob Zuma, 75, the embattled leader is gearing up for another no-confidence vote this month as splits within his own party threatens to undo him. The Democratic Alliance was unsuccessful in its bid to have the Sona postponed. However, Zuma still has support within the top 6 with Secretary General Ace Magashule and his deputy Jessie Duarte defending his continued stay at Union Buildings.

These include‚ among others‚ surveillance of members of parliament‚ Zuma's call that the most recent motion of no confidence‚ in which several ANC MPs voted for his removal‚ be done by an open ballot and Friday's threat of a civil war by the "Hands Off Zuma" campaign - led by Black First Land First and Unemployed People's Trust.

Lukhona Mnguni, political analyst at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, said Zuma could take his chances and wait for the no-confidence motion rather than decide to resign.

ANC party spokespersons were not available for to comment.

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