The party of Nelson Mandela meets to decide fate of South African President Jacob Zuma

PHOTO: South African Deputy President and African National Congress party President Cyril Ramaphosa, delivers a speech at the Grand Parade in Cape Town, South Africa, Feb. 11, 2018.PlayAP
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In South Africa, all eyes are on the ruling African National Congress party today as its top decision-making body meets to discuss the fate of the country’s president, Jacob Zuma.

The ANC, the party of the late Nelson Mandela, is facing mounting pressure from within its own ranks as well as from opposition parties and civil society at large to decide Zuma’s fate after more than a week of negotiations.

PHOTO: South African Deputy President and African National Congress party President Cyril Ramaphosa, delivers a speech at the Grand Parade in Cape Town, South Africa, Feb. 11, 2018.AP
South African Deputy President and African National Congress party President Cyril Ramaphosa, delivers a speech at the Grand Parade in Cape Town, South Africa, Feb. 11, 2018.

Zuma was replaced as the party’s leader by his deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, but he is refusing to step down. That leaves his party with only two options. Either the party's National Executive Committee decides to recall him or the nation's parliament casts a vote of no confidence, an action already scheduled for Feb. 22.

PHOTO: President Jacob Zuma leaves Tuynhuys, the office of the Presidency at Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, Feb. 7, 2018.Sumaya Hisham/Reuters
President Jacob Zuma leaves Tuynhuys, the office of the Presidency at Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, Feb. 7, 2018.

Hopes for a speedy resolution of the matter faded last week after Ramaphosa and Zuma held private discussions that have so far failed to bring an end to the stalemate. In the meantime, the opening of parliament and the State of the Nation address have been postponed indefinitely to give the ANC more time to deal with Zuma.

Today’s debate by the party's executive committee is expected to be long and drawn out as several of its members, who are government cabinet ministers, still support Zuma. The president has already survived two other attempts by the executive committee to force him to step down.

It’s unclear when an announcement on Zuma’s future is expected but Ramaphosa indicated yesterday that he knows people are anxious for the issue to be laid to rest.

PHOTO: A supporter of South Africas ruling African National Congress holds up a shirt featuring newly-elected ANC president and South African Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, during a rally on Feb. 11, 2018 in Cape Town.Rodger Bosch/AFP/Getty Images
A supporter of South Africa's ruling African National Congress holds up a shirt featuring newly-elected ANC president and South African Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, during a rally on Feb. 11, 2018 in Cape Town.

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