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It has been a tense week politically in South Africa, with the annual State of the Nation Address (SONA) postponed until the ruling African National Congress (ANC) determines the fate of president Jacob Zuma.

Since Ramaphosa was elected as ANC President in December, pressure has been mounting on Zuma to resign due to his alleged involvement in a series of corruption scandals.

ANC party officials met with Zuma over the weekend to request his resignation, but he refused, triggering a week of dramatic political manoeuvring.

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Mbete said that with these concerns in mind, Parliament had made a decision to approach Zuma to propose the postponement "in order to create room for establishing a much more conducive political atmosphere in Parliament".

"Our view is that if the president doesn't want to resign, for whatever reason, we have a party to run that is going to be very soon in the election campaign", Mashatile said. He is not above the law, and must still face the 783 criminal.

Zuma has survived several no-confidence votes in parliament but faces another on February 22 filed by the far-left opposition party Economic Freedom Fighters.

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The decision to delay the awards comes in the wake of Parliament's decision to postpone the State of the Nation Address (SONA), spokesperson Clayson Monyela said in a statement.

"Normally when a sitting president is asked to step down, it happens".

The power struggle has rocked the ANC, the renowned liberation movement that under Nelson Mandela led the fight against white-minority rule but has since lost much public support.

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A message sent to NEC members reads: "By the directive of the ANC President Cde Cyril Ramaphosa, we hereby inform you that after fruitful and constructive discussions between the ANC President and President of the Republic held this evening, president of the ANC, Cde Cyril Ramaphosa has postponed the Special NEC meeting to sit on the 17&18 Feb 2018".

"Shuffling Zuma out of the back-door, with any number of trade-offs and compromises, is not only bad for Mr Ramaphosa - it is bad for South Africa", it said.

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