Pretoria - African National Congress (ANC) president Cyril Ramaphosa's convoy left a marathon meeting of the party which had gathered in Irene near Pretoria on Monday to decide the fate of embattled head of state Jacob Zuma.

Initial reports were that Ramaphosa and ANC secretary general Ace Magashule were heading to Mahlamba Ndlopfu, the president's official Pretoria residence, to convey the outcome of the ANC national executive committee (NEC) meeting which had started at around 2pm Monday.

Speculation was rife that after a marathon nine-hour meeting the ANC NEC had resolved to ask Zuma to step down as country president or face being recalled from office.

Ramaphosa's convoy was seen leaving the sprawling St George hotel complex shortly before 11pm. 

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader and former ANC youth league firebrand Julius Malema, who still has close contacts in the ANC's inner circle said Ramaphosa had entered Mahlamba Ndlopfu.

None of the other 80-plus members of the NEC, the highest decision-making body of South Africa’s ruling party, were seen to be leaving the hotel complex, leading to speculation that they were waiting for Ramaphosa to report back to them with Zuma's response

Local and international news crews remained camped outside the Saint George Hotel for the meeting to finalise the fate of Zuma, who has previously refused his party's requests to step down.

Ramaphosa, the deputy president of South Africa, won the leadership of the governing ANC in December in a hotly contested election. 

On Sunday, Ramaphosa had said Monday's NEC meeting would finalise discussions on the exit of Zuma, who is facing mounting pressure to step down.

African News Agency/ANA