The decision was taken at a marathon meeting of the African National Congress’ top officials.
The ruling African National Congress on Monday gave South African President Jacob Zuma 48 hours to resign as the head of state, state broadcaster South African Broadcasting Corporation reported.
Zuma has been accused, among other things, of using government money to build a luxurious private home. Under his rule, economic growth slowed down and unemployment reached record low levels.
The call to ask Zuma to step down came after an eight-hour meeting of the party’s top leadership, the SABC said. The National Executive Committee met in Irene outside Pretoria and decided it would call for a motion of no-confidence against Zuma if he refused to step down.
Soon after the meeting, African National Congress President Cyril Ramaphosa and Secretary General Ace Magashule were seen heading to Zuma’s official residence, local reports said.
While Zuma continues to deny any wrongdoing, he has been facing a major challenge ever since his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, was elected in December 2017 to succeed him as the leader of the African National Congress. The leader of the ANC, which has ruled South Africa since the end of apartheid, is considered the most powerful person in the country.
Soon after Ramaphosa took over, analysts pointed out he was likely to recall Zuma from presidency.