Transform RSA warns ANC top brass against removing Zuma

Siphiwe Sibeko  Reuters                       Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema at a protest outside the Israeli embassy in Pretoria

President Jacob Zuma's cheerleader‚ the ANC Youth League‚ has vowed to oppose any attempts to have him recalled at Wednesday's special national executive committee (NEC) meeting in East London.

Initially hit by softening demand for emerging market assets as global bond yields picked up, the rand's losses accelerated to a session-low R12.55 shortly after the ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule told reporters Zuma's removal was not on the agenda of a meeting of the party's top decision-making body.

The president said that "this matter can not wait any longer".

Last month also saw Zuma suffer another blow when his vice-president Cyril Ramaphosa, who campaigned on an anti- corruption ticket, was elected ANC president after seeing off Zuma's former wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

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There has been widespread speculation that Zuma is being put under pressure to step down as president, giving Ramaphosa room to assume control and work towards the presidential bid for 2019.

Transform RSA was demanding "an unequivocal and unconditional undertaking" by the party and its NEC, allies and partners that there would be no intention to discuss or decide on removing Zuma from office.

Mr Zuma has been accused of conspiring with a wealthy business family, the Guptas, to control lucrative state contracts. The president approved the probe in a private meeting with Ramaphosa on January 7, according to three ANC officials with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified because the talks weren't publicly disclosed. Zuma argued that only he had the right to appoint judicial commissions and decide on their terms of reference.

According to a report from Bloomberg, Zuma's early exit has been factored into the price of the rand since Ramaphosa won the election to become the new party leader in December 2017.

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