South African President in Battle to Continue in Office

South African President in Battle to Continue in Office

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who is also a member of the NEC, declined to answer questions about the no-confidence debate on Zuma while speaking to media in Johannesburg.

The NEC, which has 104 members including Mr Zuma, is the only ANC body that can remove the party leader, apart from its five-yearly congress.

In an unprecedented debate, which most analysts see as the waning of Zuma's political clout, some members called for him to step down and those close to him came to his defence.

There has been speculation that those who stand opposed to Zuma may work with opposition parties to pass a motion of no confidence against the president in Parliament - however, this route would be an absolute last resort, Attard Montalto said. "It was discussed sufficiently, exhaustively".

Web publication the Daily Maverick reported this is highly possible, particularly as ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu is reportedly one of the 34 opposed to Zuma.

Later, a statement was released saying Zuma would travel to Cuba for the funeral of former president Fidel Castro on Friday.

The rebellion within the ANC comes nearly a month after the nation's graft ombudsman released a report indicating that Zuma may have allowed members of a wealthy family, who are his friends and in business with his son, to influence cabinet appointments and the awarding of state contracts. Earlier this month, the Democratic Alliance sent a request to initiate criminal proceedings against Zuma. The report by the Public Protector, appointed to investigate complaints of government misconduct, implicated the President and his cronies, although Zuma has denied the allegations.

America goes shopping: Crowds hit the stores for Black Friday 2016
Penney also started its Black Friday online sales on Wednesday instead of Thursday to compete better with online-only companies. Bree Colley, 30, said she plans to go to Columbia Mall in Missouri on Friday with her mom in their yearly tradition.

Zuma has also been fiercely criticized for using about $20 million in public funds for upgrades to his private rural home.

A month later, another court ruled that a 2009 decision to drop corruption chargesagainst Mr. Zuma was "irrational" and should be reviewed. He later apologized and agreed to repay a fraction of the money.

ANC Women's League president Bathabile Dlamini is a fierce ally of Zuma.

The president has been hit by multiple corruption allegations and damaging court rulings this year, while the ANC suffered a serious setback in local polls in August and unemployment has hit a 13-year high. It called on the governing party to put the country in safe hands.

The ANC has said it will hold a news conference later Tuesday, which is expected to chart the way forward for the president and the party ahead of 2019 general elections.

Some of the reports on the sitting described how two members of Cabinet nearly came to blows over the matter, while some said voting had taken place with most opting to keep Zuma on as President.