South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) has formally asked President Jacob Zuma to resign, a senior party official has confirmed.
The decision to “recall” him “urgently” followed marathon talks of the ANC’s top leadership body.
Mr Zuma, 75, agreed to step down, but only in the next three to six months, the official added.
Mr Zuma, who has been in power since 2009, has been dogged by corruption allegations.
But he has resisted increasing pressure to quit since December, when Cyril Ramaphosa replaced him as leader of the ANC.
Ace Magashule, the ANC’s secretary-general, told reporters the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) decided the removal should be “treated with urgency”.
“It is obvious we want Comrade Ramaphosa to come in as the president of South Africa,” he added.
Despite Mr Magashule telling reporters “the decision is now final”, he revealed Mr Zuma told him that he “did not believe the NEC has the right” to make such a ruling.
He said the president was expected to respond to the NEC’s decision on Wednesday, although they had given him no deadline.
Mr Zuma’s presidency has been overshadowed by allegations of corruption which he has always vehemently denied.