JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – The ANC has decided to sack Jacob Zuma as President of South Africa, a senior official said on Tuesday, after a marathon meeting to determine the fate of a leader whose scandal-plagued years in power darkened and divided Nelson Mandela’s “Rainbow Nation.”
The decision by the ruling party’s national executive came in the early hours of the morning, after 13 hours of tense deliberations and one face-to-face meeting between Zuma and his presumed successor, deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa.
Zuma has been living on borrowed time since Ramaphosa, a union leader once tipped as Mandela’s pick to take over the reins, was elected as head of the 106-year-old ANC in December, narrowly defeating Zuma’s ex-wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
The ANC said it would hold a media briefing at 1000 GMT to reveal the results of the meeting.
Zuma’s spokesman did not answer his mobile phone.
On Friday his wife Tobeka Madiba-Zuma posted comments on Instagram suggesting Zuma, who has challenged and defied attempts by the ANC and courts to rein him in, was prepared to fight and believed he was the victim of a Western conspiracy.
“He will finish what he started because he does not take orders beyond the Atlantic Ocean,” she said.
South Africa’s economy, the most sophisticated on the continent, has stagnated under Zuma’s nine-year tenure, with banks and mining firms reluctant to invest because of policy uncertainty and rampant corruption.