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March 23 2018, 02:53 | Irvin Gilbert
Zuma Watch: Staggering all the way to the end
The political landscape in South Africa is filled with tension and confusion at the moment, as the nation waits to hear the fate of its leader.
President Jacob Zuma will resign as soon as a list of preconditions has been finalised, in a deal struck on Tuesday between Zuma and African National Congress (ANC) leader Cyril Ramaphosa and confirmed by sources on Tuesday night. "The ANC President will come back to us today, and we'll take it from there", she said.
The presidency said later that Zuma would also be on duty at the annual Ubuntu Awards at the Cape Town International Convention Centre‚ which this year honours former president Nelson Mandela and celebrates South Africans who "play an active role in projecting a positive image of South Africa internationally".
South Africa's deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa has confirmed meeting with the embattled president Jacob Zuma to clarify matters relating to the latter's reluctance to step down.
Parliament speaker Baleka Mbete said that the address had been delayed because there was "little likelihood" that it would be held without disruption.
The ANC said they had been "fruitful and constructive discussions".
Jacob Zuma during the nominations process at the ANC's national conference on 17 December 2017.
Mr Ramaphosa - already sounding like the country's new president - said both he and Mr Zuma were aware of people's anxieties, and the need for a speedy resolution in the "coming days".
South Africa's elections are scheduled for 2019 and Mr Zuma can not run again as there is a two-term limit.
Mr Zuma's popularity among the electorate is at an all-time low due to allegations of widespread corruption hanging over him. There has been media reports that Zuma will resign or his party will force him to do that. Mr Ramaphosa has associated himself with an anti-corruption drive.
The announcement that the ANC's national executive, which has the power to recall Mr Zuma, would not meet as scheduled on Wednesday followed the dramatic cancellation of a key parliament speech by the president.
Under Zuma's leadership, the economy has weakened and the ANC has performed poorly in elections, losing control of several major cities to the opposition Democratic Alliance.