Zuma resists ANC resignation calls

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Magashule said earlier the party's national executive committee had made a decision to "recall" Zuma.

"Is there still room for negotiation?"

The deputy in question was Jacob Zuma, who took over the presidency the following year.

The South African currency, the rand, a telling barometer of Mr Zuma's fortunes, gained more than 15 per cent against the USA dollar over that period. "So, that decision can't change", Magashule told a news conference.

As the talks carried on, several opposition parties issued a joint ultimatum demanding that a vote of no confidence against Mr Zuma, now scheduled for February 22, be moved forward to this week, so that parliament be dissolved and that fresh elections be held.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa then becomes acting president after taking the oath of office. He has also been held liable for dipping into public coffers for $20 million in upgrades to his private residence. It is speculated that Zuma may defy ANC's wishes yet again and technically carry on as president, especially since he had asked to be given a few more months to resign.

But the ANC rejected Zuma's proposal and the President's current stance is unclear.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions, the ANC's tripartite alliance partner and a once loyal Zuma supporter, said his refusal to stand down was "dividing and humiliating" the former liberation movement. She added, "Don't fight someone who is not fighting with you".

"We still respect comrade Jacob Zuma". I don't like this man.

"We can no longer keep South Africa waiting", said Paul Mashatile, the ANC's treasurer general.

Peter Granitz, reporting for NPR from Pretoria, says "The Gupta brothers have been accused by South African authorities of siphoning money from the contracts they've won with the government".

Mr Zuma has resisted increasing pressure to quit since December when Mr Ramaphosa replaced him as leader of the ANC. In one case, the High Court ruled last month that Mr. Zuma was guilty of "abuse of judicial process" and ordered him to personally defray legal costs.

Magashule said the party did not give Zuma a deadline to tender his resignation, but said they expected a quick turnaround.

"He did in fact confirm that he would respond by tomorrow".

Lawson Naidoo of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac) said that if President Zuma refuses to step down, the governing party's next option would be to vote with the opposition in the motion of no confidence against the president in Parliament.