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South Africa's leader gives into pressure on scandal probe

12 January 2018

"For Ramaphosa to build on the momentum of his ascendancy to ANC president and boost investor confidence, he will only have a relatively short window to remove Zuma", said Mike Davies, the founder of political advisory company Kigoda Consulting.

The option of toppling Zuma wasn't on the meeting agenda, Ace Magashule, the party's secretary-general, told reporters in East London on Wednesday.

At 1pm the rand was 1.4% weaker at R12.5075 to the dollar, slightly better than the slide to its weakest level since December26.

Zuma has been weakened since Ramaphosa narrowly defeated Zuma's ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in an ANC leadership contest last month. ANC policy is that the party leader should also be the country's president so as not to divide authority between president of the country and the president of the party.

Ramaphosa emerged from the beachside conference venue for an impromptu walkabout among vendors selling ANC paraphernalia but he took no questions as he chatted and joked with the hawkers.

Zuma, who has denied wrongdoing, said he has appealed the order to pay the costs himself but is moving ahead with a commission of inquiry because "this matter has occupied the public mind for some time now and deserves urgent attention". He urged the party's rank and file to support the new ANC leadership‚ fight corruption in its ranks and "to not soil the reputation" of the ANC.

It also brought tens of thousands of anti-Zuma protesters onto the streets in nationwide marches.

The option of removing Zuma could be raised at another NEC meeting next week, according to two of the panel's members.

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma is set to hold talks with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday at Dr John Dube residence in Durban, the presidency has said in a statement.

A smiling Ramaphosa looked at ease when journalists were briefly allowed into the meeting for a photo opportunity.

South Africa's leader gives into pressure on scandal probe