Johannesburg - Top officials of the ruling African National Congress are to meet on Sunday with President Jacob Zuma to discuss his departure from office, the Johannesburg-based Sunday Times reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
The meeting, to be held at the president’s official residence in Pretoria, will be led by the party’s Deputy President David Mabuza and could determine whether Zuma delivers the state of the nation address on Thursday, the newspaper said.
The party’s new leader, Cyril Ramaphosa, won’t be among those in the meeting, the Times says, citing people inside the ANC. Ramaphosa succeeded Zuma to take over the helm of the ANC in December. Zuma’s second and final term as president is due to end in mid-2019.
A spokesperson for the presidency couldn’t immediately be reached by phone or email on Sunday.
Should Zuma step down before the speech, it is understood that National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete will serve as acting president to convene parliament, and then will designate Ramaphosa, who also is the nation’s deputy president, to deliver the address.
Opposition parties have vowed to block Thursday’s opening if parliament’s presiding officers refuse their demand to postpone the session until MPs hold impeachment proceedings. They want a new president to present the address.
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