President Jacob Zuma File picture: Siphiwe Sibeko

Johannesburg - Embattled President Jacob Zuma appears unfazed as the noose tightens around his scandalous presidency.

Zuma, who is facing sustained clamour to step down, is leading a delegation of ministers to the inaugural session of the South African-Zimbabwe Bi-National Commission in Harare.

Political analyst Ralph Mathekga said Zuma was caught between “a rock and a hard place because he has to maintain business as usual (approach), appear strong, certain and confident”.

He said the president’s visit was unpredictable as it could lead to a major event such as a cabinet reshuffle.

When Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan was charged with fraud, Zuma was away.

On Monday, Cosatu’s largest union, the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union, added its voice to those calling for Zuma to step down, saying he could no longer be defended.

ANC structures, including some branches, regions and provinces; the business sector; civil society; and opposition parties want him to resign over the many scandals associated with his presidency, including the investigation into state capture by his close friends the Guptas and the Nkandla saga.

Zuma’s visit to Zimbabwe was aimed at cementing relations between the two Southern African Development Community countries, which have signed more than 38 memoranda of understanding and agreements.

There were also more than 120 South African companies doing business in Zimbabwe, according to Zuma’s spokesperson Dr Bongani Ngqulunga.

The businesses were in the fast foods sector, construction, banking, tourism, aviation and mining.