Under pressure, South Africa's leader warns of "fake" news

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Zuma is under growing pressure to step down in favour of his deputy and African National Congress (ANC) party leader Cyril Ramaphosa, with local media suggesting an exit deal is being hammered out.

South Africa's governing party, the ANC, has postponed a top-level meeting that was expected to decide on President Jacob Zuma's future. Opposition leaders will meet on Monday to discuss a scheduled motion of no confidence in Zuma on February 22 as well as parliament's mandate to elect a new president in the event that Zuma is removed, the parties said.

South Africans were facing political uncertainty yesterday after the ruling ANC party cancelled a meeting that could have removed embattled President Jacob Zuma from office.

Sasfin fixed-income trader Alvin Chawasema said non-residents have so far shrugged off the impasse between Zuma and Ramphosa, having been net buyers of bonds for a second day in a row.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Nelson Mandela Foundation urged Mr Zuma to step down.

In a statement, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said the reasons for the postponements was to begin direct discussions with Zuma on the transition and matters relating to his position as the president of the republic.

In previous years, opposition lawmakers have shouted Zuma down and been ejected from the chamber by security guards in a melee of flying fists.

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He said while the situation made it necessary to postpone the State of the Nation Address until further notice, the work of the government and Parliament would continue to run smoothly.

"It also shows that the ANC under Ramaphosa is the very same ANC it was under Zuma".

The ANC's Parliamentary caucus will meet on Thursday for a special caucus meeting.

The power struggle has rocked the ANC, the renowned liberation movement that led the fight against white-minority rule but has since lost much public support.

Ramaphosa triumphed over Zuma's former wife, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, at last December's party elective conference.

His presidency has been dominated by an economic slowdown, record unemployment and allegations of corruption.

Zuma is also accused of helping his friends and family benefit from lucrative government contracts. The Nelson Mandela Foundation this week said the president should resign "sooner rather than later" and the foundation of Nobel laureate and former archbishop Desmond Tutu past year posted a scathing tweet in his name: "We will pray for the downfall of a government that misrepresents us".

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