Give Zuma space to tender resignation, ANC asks SA public

Johannesburg - The ANC is asking the public to grant President Jacob Zuma space to tender his resignation, party spokesperson Pule Mabe said during a press briefing on Wednesday.

Mabe said the ANC was reassured that Zuma would tender his resignation before the end of the day.

This was after Zuma did a live interview with the SABC, in which he said he was a victim and that the decision by the national executive committee (NEC) to recall him as president was unfair.

READ: 'Victimised' Zuma goes to war with ANC over recall

"It was a positive message to hear President Zuma saying that he won't defy his party because he has led this party for years and years. He remains the leader that we all respect."

Finally breaking his silence, Zuma told SABC journalist Mzwandile Mbeje that he was not defying the NEC.

"No, I have not defied the party."

Contradicting himself, Zuma said, while he was not defying the NEC, he did not agree with their decision and needed to know what he had done.

During the last half of the interview, Zuma said he would issue a statement in response to the NEC statement.

When asked if the ANC was confident that Zuma would resign, Mabe said Zuma's use of the words "not defying" was positive.

"I have always warned against being pre-emptive, for wanting to throw pre-emptive strikes, even where it might not necessarily be helpful. If he says that I am not defying the party... I think it's only fair to grant him that space. Allow the statement to come out while we know there are also these other processes that are being undertaken."

Zuma's interview on Wednesday comes as the ANC highest decision-making body between conferences took a decision to recall him, and the party's caucus said it would support a motion of no confidence against him on Thursday.