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Ramaphosa hints at early exit for Zuma

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa has conceded that people are eager to know if Jacob Zuma will stay on until the end of his term in 2019, or be asked to leave early.

ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - In what appears to be the strongest indication yet that President Jacob Zuma could soon to exit office, African National Congress (ANC) president Cyril Ramaphosa says the matter must be addressed but that Zuma must not be embarrassed.

Ramaphosa made the remarks during an interview with eNCA on Sunday night.

“We need to deal with this matter with the level of maturity it requires, with the proper decorum and I’ll say we should never do it in a way that’s going to humiliate President Zuma. We should never do it in a manner that’s going to also divide the nation.”

Ramaphosa has conceded that people are eager to know if Zuma will stay on until the end of his term in 2019, or be asked to leave early.

He's also acknowledged that there's a lot of interest in how the boss of the country's majority party will handle being the deputy to Zuma in government after taking over as president of the party at the elective conference last month.

Both are in the positions at the behest of the ANC and have to carry out ANC policy.

Meanwhile, the Presidency says it has noted several distortions in reports regarding the meeting held by Zuma and Ramaphosa earlier this month in Durban.

It says the meeting was about the two leaders updating each other on matters in both government and the governing party, following the assumption of Ramaphosa’s ANC presidency.

The Presidency has refuted the reports that Zuma used the meeting to demand that Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma be appointed as deputy president of the country.

It says the leaders have both indicated that their meetings are now critical to ensure interaction between the governing party and government since President Zuma is no longer a member of the ANC's top six.

Last week, the City Press reported that Ramaphosa's backers were planning for him to take over from Zuma much earlier, in order for the ANC president to deliver the State of the Nation Address next month.

Zuma's supporters are reportedly negotiating the conditions for him to step down, which include that some of the ministers he appointed be retained.

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