The President of South Africa on Wednesday insisted he would not be stepping down from his post, after the ruling African National Congress party announced that he had until the end of the day to tender his resignation or else face a vote of no confidence.
In an interview with public broadcaster SABC, Jacob Zuma said he had not been given any reason as to why he should resign, but his almost 10-year stint in office has been stained by a slew of high-level corruption allegations that have left him isolated from the ANC's national executive committee, which has been negotiating his removal for weeks.
"We can no longer wait beyond today, we don't want to keep South Africa waiting," said ANC treasurer Paul Mashatile at a press conference. "The decision has been taken, it must be implemented."
The party intends for Zuma to no longer be president by Thursday and for Vice President and ANC leader Ramaphosa to take his place.
The leader of the ANC's parliamentary block, Jackson Mthembu, said it was now up to Zuma to make a move, but that the party would not hesitate to proceed with a vote of no confidence.
The ANC's latest demand for a resignation came hours after police arrested two people allegedly linked to a corruption case that involved the president.
The debate surrounding a premature exit from the presidency for Zuma, whose term is set to end in 2019, has been bolstered by the serious corruption scandals that surround him.
ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule announced Tuesday that the party's leadership had formally requested the president to step down after weeks of political maneuvers and negotiations behind closed doors.