07/02/2018 05:24 SAST | Updated 07/02/2018 05:24 SAST

ANC Cancels NEC Meeting After 'Constructive Discussion' With Ramaphosa

"Ramaphosa sounds extremely happy," ANC Deputy Secretary-General Jessie Duarte said on Tuesday evening.

Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Jacob Zuma, South Africa's president, speaks with journalists during the 54th national conference of the African National Congress party in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Monday, Dec. 18, 2017.

The ANC has confirmed that the planned national executive committee (NEC) meeting has been cancelled after a "constructive discussion" between President Jacob Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa in Cape Town on Tuesday.

ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte said that the two agreed to work together. "Ramaphosa sounds extremely happy," she added.

The ANC's top six met with Zuma over the weekend in an unsuccessful bid to persuade him to resign, after which the top six met with the party's national working committee (NWC) on Monday evening. The NWC then convened an urgent meeting of the NEC for Wednesday evening in Cape Town.

The NEC is the body that can recall the state president.

The special NEC will now sit on 17 and 18 February, the ANC said in a statement on Tuesday night.

This comes after Parliament's presiding officers announced the postponement of the State of the Nation Address, which was supposed to be delivered by Zuma on Thursday.

In a move that was welcomed by the ANC and opposition parties, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete said it was "in the interest of the country" for the SONA to be postponed.

"We wish to assure fellow South Africans and everyone affected by this decision that these actions are being taken in the best interests of Parliament and the country," National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete announced on Tuesday afternoon.

Shortly after Mbete's announcement, the Presidency released a statement saying that Zuma had written to Mbete and Modise, requesting the postponement of the Joint Sitting of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces, which he had asked them to convene in order to deliver the State of the Nation Address (SONA).

"The President has requested the postponement due to certain developments which make it not conducive to successfully hold the sitting and deliver the SONA," read the statement.

-- News24