PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma must leave office, South Africa’s ruling party has said.

Ace Magashule, secretary-general of the African National Congress (ANC), said the party’s national executive committee had decided to “recall” Zuma, who has been discredited by a number of corruption scandals.

Magashule said the president had previously agreed to resign, but wanted to stay in office for several more months, a condition the party committee rejected.

If Zuma refuses to co-operate, the matter could go to parliament for a vote on a motion of no confidence.

The continuing lack of a resolution to the country’s political limbo indicated that the president was spurning the demands of many former supporters and possibly holding out for concessions.

Corruption scandals linked to Zuma have cut into the party’s popularity ahead of national elections next year.

An opposition-backed motion of no confidence had been scheduled for February 22, but its sponsors want the vote to be moved to this week.

Zuma has reportedly asked for state security for his family, payment of legal fees and a few more months in office in exchange for quitting.