February 13, 2018 / 2:26 AM / 6 months ago

South African rand slips on reports ANC decides to remove Zuma from office

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand slipped against the dollar in early Asian trade on Tuesday on reports the African National Congress party executive committee had decided to “recall” or remove President Jacob Zuma as head of state.

Illustration photo shows a two-rand coin above a South Africa flag April 12, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration

The rand surrendered early gains made following reports the ANC had given the embattled leader 48 hours to resign, with the latest development raising the prospect of a showdown between Zuma’s allies and those who want Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to take over.

Since Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was elected party leader in December, Zuma has faced mounting calls from his party to end his scandal-plagued second term due to run out mid-2019.

The party’s executive committee has the authority to order Zuma to step down as head of state, although domestic media speculated that he might refuse to relinquish his post.

At 0205 GMT, the rand traded at 11.95 per dollar, off highs of 11.9979 but weaker than Monday’s close of 11.8867. The rand had strengthened on signs that Zuma could be ousted even before his second term as president ends.

Editing by Shri Navaratnam

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