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Ramaphosa assures SA Zuma's exit will be resolved

Cyril Ramaphosa released a statement clarifying the reasons for postponing the NEC meeting, which was due to take place on Wednesday.

President Jacob Zuma (left) and his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa (right). Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete says she hopes that the budget will still be delivered on 21 February but she can only be certain once she has communication from the executive.

Chief whips have been told that the budget will go ahead as scheduled, while a new date for the State of The Nation Address (Sona) has yet to be decided.

Mbete, meanwhile, says everyone must remain positive.

“But I can only be certain as soon as I have some communication from the side of the executive. So let’s all keep hoping and be positive and hope for the best. Nobody can really give an assurance that anything will be sorted out until it has happened and they can be able to give us facts and tell us and we will be able to programme based on certainty and that’s not yet here.”

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has assured South Africans that the anxiety around President Jacob Zuma's position will be resolved while Mbete says she's hoping for certainty, in general, in the next few hours.

ANC Spokesperson Pule Mabe said: “There is a tone in the statement that begins to speak about nation building. It begins laying a base to reassure South Africans that the ANC is acting with the necessary responsibility and speed required to make sure that this matter is resolved in the interest of the country.”

Zuma currently remains in office amid pressure for him to step down and the postponement of the African National Congress's much anticipated national executive committee (NEC) meeting.

Ramaphosa released a statement on Wednesday afternoon clarifying the reasons for postponing the NEC meeting, which was due to take place on Wednesday.

He says the meeting was delayed after he began direct discussions with Zuma on the transition and matters relating to his position as the president of the republic.

Mbete meanwhile says she's not happy about the delay.

“I’m anxious but I am also hopeful that we’re sorting ourselves out and we’ll be able to give certainty in a few hours’ time.”

Ramaphosa says this is a challenging time for our country but that he and Zuma are aware that people want and deserve closure.

His statement didn't offer much clarity on what his talks with the president entail and when the discussions will be concluded.

He says the constructive process they've embarked on offers the greatest opportunity to conclude this matter without discord or division.

There was a time when President Zuma would be under attack that structures such as the ANC Women’s League, Youth League and veterans league would come out quick and fast and release statements in his defence, times seem to have changed.

As nothing has been heard from the leagues or even President Zuma's staunch supporters.

One of his supporters in the ANC's NWC told Eyewitness News this week that "we can't defend him forever".

There's also a lot of speculation as to how Zuma will exit, via a motion of no confidence, impeachment, being recalled or resigning.

There are already reports that President Zuma has agreed to step down but under conditions.

Meanwhile, there were no extraordinary scene outside Luthuli House on Wednesday.

Many of the party’s leaders are already in Cape Town and will be there until Sunday when the party launches celebrations of the centennial year in honour of the late president Nelson Mandela.

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