South African President Jacob Zuma said “I will be out” if parliament votes against him in a motion of no confidence set for Thursday.
Zuma’s comment in a live interview on state broadcaster SABC suggests that he will not obey a ruling party order to leave office by the end of Wednesday.
The ruling African National Congress said it will move to oust Zuma in a parliamentary vote if he does not quit voluntarily.
Zuma said he has been “victimized” and that he disagrees with the ANC party’s efforts to remove him. He said he was willing to resign but wanted to stay a few more months on office. He plans to make a statement later.
The president’s tenure has been marred by corruption scandals and the party wants him to end his second five-year term early so that it can shore up support ahead of 2019 elections.
The ANC will act if Zuma does not respond by the end of Wednesday, said Paul Mashatile, the party’s treasurer general.
“We can no longer keep South Africa waiting,” Mashatile said.
Ramaphosa, who was elected as the ANC’s new leader in December, has said the government will do more to fight the corruption that has hurt the reputation of the ANC, which has led South Africa since the end of white minority rule in 1994.
An opposition-sponsored motion of no confidence in Zuma had been scheduled for Feb. 22, but opposition parties wanted the date to be moved to this week.
Also Wednesday, an elite police unit raided the compound of the Gupta business family, which is suspected of using its connections to Zuma to influence Cabinet appointments and win state contracts and has been a flashpoint for national anger over corruption in state enterprises. Both the Guptas and Zuma say they’ve done nothing wrong.
Several people were arrested in operations at various addresses, South African media reported.