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South Africa's Zuma ready to quit if conditions met says news service

From Reuters - February 6, 2018

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africas ruling African National Congress party on Tuesdayput off a key meeting due to discuss President Jacob Zumas future later this week, while an online news service quoted sources saying he was ready to quit if certain conditions were met.

The ANC had called a special meeting of its executive committee for Wednesday in Cape Town, heralding what could be a new bid to unseat the 75-year-old president who is beset by corruption allegations and damaged by decline in the economy.

Zuma has been in a weakened position since he was replaced as leader of the ANC by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa in December. Zuma no longer holds a top position in the party.

But the scheduled meeting of the National Executive Committee, which has the power to demand that Zuma step down, was suddenly moved to the weekend of Feb. 17.

The party has faced uncertainty over how its dual power structure will function, after Ramaphosa took the reins of the party with Zuma remaining as head of state. Zumas tenure officially runs until mid-2019.

Party secretary-general Ace Magashule said Wednesdaysmeeting had been put back to allow the two men to keep talking constructively on a transition.

Then, Times Live, an online news service, issued a report citing sources saying Zuma would resign as soon as a list of preconditions has been finalised in a deal struck with Ramaphosa.

Magashule, who attended the meeting between the two leaders, would not confirm whether Zuma had agreed to resign, although other ANC leaders said the agreed deal would see Zuma go in a dignified way, Times Live said.

ANC officials could not be reached for comment.

Zuma has been South Africas most controversial president since the end of white minority rule in 1994, enwrapped in scandal during a tumultuous nine years in power.

He has faced several allegations of corruption. Some within the ANC and the opposition say the Gupta family, friends of Zuma, have used their links with the president to win work with the state. The Guptas and Zuma have denied any wrongdoing.

He waved to reporters after meeting Ramaphosa at the presidents office in Cape Town, where the president also chaired routine meetings, his spokesman said.

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