South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) declined to comment on a report its executive planned to force Jacob Zuma to quit as president, as its leaders gather to outline the party’s programme for the coming year.
Broadcaster eNCA said on Saturday that the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) had resolved the previous day to ask Zuma - whose presidency has been tainted by a series of corruption allegations - to resign.
If he refused, he would be forced to step down by the party’s six-strong leadership group, the channel said, without naming its sources.
An anonymous member of the newly-elected NEC - which met for the first time under new ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday and Friday - was quoted by online news site News24 as saying the decision to force Zuma to resign had been unanimous.
eNCA also said authorities would within 24 hours name a new head of troubled power utility Eskom, which has been at the heart of allegations of illegality and undue influence in awarding tenders to the Gupta family, friends of Zuma.
Zuma, whose second term is due to run until 2019, has denied any wrongdoing, as have the Guptas, says a Reuters report.
The NEC made no mention of Zuma’s possible early exit in a statement it issued after the first two days of what is a four-day meeting.
Asked about the reports that Zuma would be asked to resign, an ANC spokeswoman said: “We can’t confirm rumours of things that we don’t know. The NEC has issued a statement on the totality of discussions yesterday.”