Members of the African National Congress's top decision-making body remained locked in a meeting on Monday night convened to resolve the political future of South Africa's scandal-plagued president, Jacob Zuma.
The decision by the African National Congress's (ANC) national executive followed 13 hours of tense deliberations and one face-to-face meeting between Zuma and his presumed successor, deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa.
Zuma's second and final presidential term would have expired in 2019 anyway, but it looks like his party wants to show him the door early.
The move comes after weeks of mounting pressure for Zuma to resign after nine years as president, which have been "marred by economic decline and multiple charges of corruption", The Guardian says.
Furthermore, Magashule had said that the NEC had not discussed the matter of removing Zuma through a motion of no confidence should the state president refuse to heed the call made by the NEC. "The NEC themselves said that I must resign‚ and I find that very unusual that I should do so because this is not the first time that they've said this‚" President Zuma said.
The governing party had given President Zuma an option to resign but the President has not yet indicated he would accede to this call. As the new president, Ramaphosa would not have the power to grant Zuma immunity from prosecution.
As the NEC meeting got under way, opposition parties held a joint press conference in which they outlined their plans to get rid of Mr Zuma if the ANC did not act decisively.
A vote of no confidence would then be held in Parliament.
Asked how Zuma received the news of his recall, Mthembu was cavalier, saying, "As the ANC we have no qualms with any. bring it on".
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule told reporters that Zuma had "agreed in principle to resign" and had proposed leaving in three to six months - a delay that the party rejected. "It would draw out this transition period even longer and South Africa would have a longer period of uncertainty about its leadership".
The Vrede farm investigation relates to the Estina dairy farm near Vrede, in the Free State, a project which was originally meant to help poor black farmers but from which the Gupta family are alleged to have pocketed millions of dollars, allegations they deny.
An opposition request for a no-confidence vote against Zuma, 75, this week was still being considered by the parliamentary Speaker.
The State of Capture report by South Africa's former state prosecutor Thuli Mandolesa accused the Gupta brothers of using their wealth to influence government business including the choice of ministers appointed by president Jacob Zuma.