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S.Africa postpones State of Nation address amid turmoil

Cape Town, South Africa | AFP |  South Africa on Tuesday postponed its State of the Nation address, the keynote political event of the year, as the ruling ANC party is roiled by a battle to unseat President Jacob Zuma.

Zuma, in power since 2009, is fighting for his survival and faces the risk of soon being ousted from office by his own party after multiple graft scandals.

The African National Congress, which has ruled since Nelson Mandela won the post-apartheid 1994 election, is divided over whether Zuma should be “recalled” from his position.

As president, Zuma had been due to deliver the State of the Nation address to parliament in Cape Town on Thursday.

But the party’s national executive committee, its highest decision-making body, will hold a special meeting on Wednesday to discuss his possible removal.

“We thought that we needed to create room for establishing a much more conducive political atmosphere in parliament,” parliamentary Speaker Baleka Mbete told reporters.

“When we met the president this afternoon, we then learnt that he was already writing to parliament to ask for the postponement.

“A new date for the state of the nation address will be announced, very soon.”

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