Bonds weaker as no date is set for Zuma's exit

Bonds weaker as no date is set for Zuma's exit

As talks between President Jacob Zuma and his deputy enter day three, the party has cancelled Cyril Ramaphosa's engagements for the next two days, saying he has pressing issues to deal with.

This is after the ANC announced its special NEC meeting planned for Wednesday had been postponed to February 17 amid reports of an agreement between the State and party presidents.

Zuma's second five-year term is scheduled to end with elections in 2019, but many ruling party members want Ramaphosa to take over as soon as possible so that the party can try to recover the trust of voters alienated by the president's scandals.

In a statement, Mr Ramaphosa said the NEC meeting was suspended to allow himself and Mr Zuma to conclude their talks, and he promised to report back "in the coming days".

The address is always made by the sitting president, and is the political event of the year in South Africa.

The delay heightened speculation that Mr Zuma could finally yield to calls to step down.

The question of whether Zuma will remain president did not come up.

As pressure grows inside and outside the ANC for Zuma to resign, the president and his deputy have been meeting to discuss a transition of power that Ramaphosa has indicated should not humiliate Zuma or further divide the country of 55 million people.

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The 75-year-old president is facing extensive corruption charges after a turbulent nine years in power.

However, a date has yet to be set following Speaker Baleka Mbete's postponement of Sona, while ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa has appealed for patience from frustrated South Africans.

Both Mr Zuma and the Guptas deny any wrongdoing.

"Unfortunately the reality caught up with them, so now the ANC is trying to take control", he said.

"Yes a motion of no confidence will affect president Zuma, an impeachment will affect president Zuma personally".

His presidency has been dominated by an economic slowdown, record unemployment and allegations of corruption. It also continued to announce Zuma's upcoming official schedule, saying the president would preside on Saturday over an awards ceremony in Cape Town for South Africans who have promoted the country's global image.

Mr Ramaphosa, 65, is a former trade unionist who led talks to end apartheid rule in the early 1990s and then became a multi-millionaire businessman before returning to politics.

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