South Africa's governing African National Congress (ANC) has called on president Thabo Mbeki to resign days after a judge suggested the president had interfered in a case against party rival, Jacob Zuma.
Earlier this month the high court judge dismissed corruption and other charges against Mr. Zuma, saying there was evidence of political interference in the investigation.
Mbeki has accepted the call to resign and, according to his spokesman, will leave the post once all constitutional requirements have been met.
Mr. zuma is expected to succeed Mr. Mbeki in scheduled elections next year.
Mduduzi Simon Khumalo is a research specialist at the Peace and Security Unity with the African Institute of South Africa. Nightlines Akwei Thompson spoke with him in Pretoria.
“On Monday the ANC National Working Committee took a decision that they would like him to be relieved of his duties,” Khumalo said.
He said that decision was to be ratified by the National Executive Council in meetings held on Friday and Saturday and “this morning they took the decision that they would like him to be relieved of his duties.”
Khumalo said that although the constitution provides that an early election should be held, the ANC will not go that route for fear that an early election might jeopardize the two-thirds majority they hold in parliament. Instead, Khumalo thinks the ANC will opt to elect a caretaker president. “Constitutionally, the Speaker of Parliament must become the caretaker president or the acting president until elections are held next year,” he added.