South Africa's ANC party confirmed today it had chose to "recall" scandal-tainted President Jacob Zuma from office but said there was no deadline for him to resign, pitching the country into further uncertainty.
The most obvious option left for the ANC should Zuma decide not follow the party's directive for his recall would be to vote him out of office in a motion of no confidence.
As recently as Tuesday, Mashatile had said party leaders had not discussed a confidence motion against Zuma, preferring instead to give him "time and space" to respond to the recall.
"I have disagreed with a decision that is taken", he said.
As pressure for Zuma to step down mounts, opposition parties have called for the dissolution of the parliament.
The ANC is expected to hold a media briefing in the afternoon to reveal the results of the meeting.
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South Africa is set to hold a presidential election next year.
Zuma's silence has fueled speculation of an increasingly desperate power struggle behind the scenes with deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, whose election to the head of ANC in December marked the beginning of the end of Zuma's tenure.
An opposition request for a no-confidence vote against Zuma, 75, this week was still being considered by the parliamentary speaker.
If Zuma resigns, ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa will fill the vacancy until he is elected and sworn in by South African Parliament.
The impasse has plunged South Africa - the continent's most developed economy - into confusion over who is running the country, with major national events cancelled amid the uncertainty.
"One of Zuma's sons works for the Guptas, as do the children of other high ranking officials".
Presidential spokesman Bongani Ngqulunga yesterday dismissed reports that Mr Zuma had agreed to resign as "fake news". Prosecutors are also mulling reviving corruption charges tied to an arms deal two decades ago. Zuma has survived similar motions against him in the past, but many ruling party members now see him as a political liability and would likely vote against him.
South Africa's top court had ruled that Zuma violated the country's constitution following an investigation of multimillion-dollar upgrades to his private home that were paid for by the state.