South Africa’s ruling party says parliament will hold a no-confidence vote against President Jacob Zuma on Thursday, if the embattled ruler does not resign immediately.
Paul Mashatile, the treasurer-general of the ruling African National Congress, announced the plan Wednesday, the day Zuma was expected to reveal whether on or not he will comply with his party’s demand that he resign.
“We can no longer keep South Africa waiting,” Mashatile told reporters after Zuma’s office denied reports they have scheduled a time for him to make an announcement.
ANC party leaders decided earlier this week to recall the 75-year-old leader after nine years in office that have been marred by numerous allegations of corruption and economic stagnation. The allegations include charges that he used some $20 million in public funds for improvements at his private estate.
Zuma is under no legal obligation to resign, however, and has resisted more than a week of intense pressure and negotiations from the party.
If the no-confidence vote succeeds, ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa will be chosen by parliament as South Africa’s new president either Thursday or Friday.
The uncertainly surrounding Zuma’s anticipated response comes in the aftermath of Wednesday’s early morning police raid of a wealthy Indian-born family with deep ties to the president.
An elite investigative unit dubbed the Hawks arrested three people in the raid on the compound of the Gupta family in an upscale neighborhood in Johannesburg. State broadcaster SABC said a member of the Gupta family was among those arrested.
The Gupta family has been accused of using their friendship with Zuma to control state appointments and contacts.
ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule told reporters Wednesday he and Ramaphosa met with Zuma early Tuesday.
Magashule said Zuma asked for three to six months to complete the job, but said the party felt that was too long, given his sinking approval ratings as critical elections approach next year.
Pressure has mounted on Zuma to quit since Ramaphosa took over as ANC head in December, defeating the president’s ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamina-Zuma.