Jacob Zuma
South Africa President Jacob Zuma/Photo: AFP

South Africa’s ruling party, the ANC, has postponed the proposed meeting of the party’s national executive committee.

The meeting was expected to have as its main agenda a discussion of the removal of South African President Jacob Zuma.

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This meeting played a significant role in the parliament’s extraordinary decision to postpone Thursday’s state of the nation address.

“We thought that we needed to create room for establishing a much more conducive political atmosphere in parliament,” parliamentary Speaker Baleka Mbete told reporters.

In a statement released by the party on Wednesday, the ANC said it has held “fruitful and constructive discussions” with President Zuma.

According to South Africa’s Times, quoting unnamed sources, the president expressed his readiness to step down if certain conditions are met.

The formal National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting has been set for 17 and 18 February, the ANC’s party leader, Cyril Ramaphosa, said in a statement.

The 80-member committee is the most powerful organ of the party and can remove the president from office. He can, however, refuse but this will sow chaos.

Zuma is under growing pressure from members of his own party to resign amid corruption allegations. Many of these allegations are connected to the Gupta family, who are accused of unfairly obtaining lucrative government contracts.