An early exit for the South African President, Jacob Zuma is being considered by ruling African National Congress party officials amid impatience among South Africans who hope change at the top could reduce high-level corruption that has hurt the economy.
A flash point for frustration could come on Feb. 8 when Zuma is scheduled to deliver the state of the nation address in parliament.
If he speaks, there likely would be protests both inside and outside the chamber.
Meanwhile, the deputy president is acting more like a president these days, while talk surrounding his scandal-tainted boss was about how and when he would quit.
That makes for awkward leadership in one of Africa’s biggest economies, where a power transition from President Jacob Zuma to his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, appears to be taking shape even though the president’s term runs until 2019 elections.
Mmusi Maimane, the main opposition leader, had on Wednesday asked the parliament speaker to postpone the speech until the ruling party resolves its internal conflict and South Africa has a new president.
For now, South Africa seems to have two leaders, one on the way out and one poised to take over.
Ramaphosa, who emerged from Zuma’s shadow after replacing him as head of the ruling party in December, represented the country last week in a high-profile visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.