ANC impatient over Zuma's future - leader

South African President Jacob Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa are seen attending Cabinet Committee meetings in this government handout

South African President Jacob Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa are seen attending Cabinet Committee meetings in this government handout

African National Congress (ANC) leader and South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa admitted to "a period of difficulty, disunity and discord" within the party during celebrations in Cape Town on Sunday to mark the 28th anniversary of Nelson Mandela's release from prison.

The meeting of the party's National Executive Committee (NEC), which has the power to demand that Zuma step down, raises the prospect of a decisive showdown between the 75-year-old allies and those who want Ramaphosa to take over from him now as president.

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) said on Sunday it will launch a set of commemorative banknotes in honour of what would have been Nelson Mandela's centenary.

An NEC member who is also an MP said most members in the structure were prepared to back Zuma's removal. "We know you want closure on this matter".

Correspondents say that if the NEC agrees to recall Mr Zuma, it would be very hard for him to resist.

Mr. Zuma hasn't publicly commented on the most recent push to remove him.

"We know you want closure on this matter", Mr Ramaphosa said to the crowd, "but it is important to manage these discussions with goal".

Zuma had been due to officiate at a diplomatic awards ceremony in Cape Town on Saturday, according to his office, but that event has been postponed.

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"Nelson Mandela's objective in whatever he did was to see people of South Africa united".

Opposition parties met on Friday 2 February 2018 to discuss their bid to have President Jacob Zuma removed.

Ramaphosa said the ANC was determined to rebuild the confidence of the people, and to restore the credibility of those elected to serve.

Sunday's rally was part of ANC celebrations marking 100 years since Mandela's birth - as well as efforts by Ramaphosa to fix the party's reputation ahead of next year's general election. "We have a new mood right across the country, we can capture that mood and move forward", Ramaphosa said.

He is also reportedly seeking legal protection for his family and other associates who have been involved in controversial deals. "They need to close this thing early this week".

Zuma has not spoken since being asked to resign by senior ANC officials on February 4.

In 2008, shortly after taking the party's helm, Zuma engineered the ousting of Thabo Mbeki from the presidency.

The party lost control of key municipalities in 2016 elections.

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