ANC's secretary general, Ace Magashule and his deputy secretary general, Jessie Duarte delivered the news to Zuma at his official residence in Pretoria this morning.
After almost 10 hours of heated debate, Ramaphosa and a key ally of Zuma left the meeting to drive to the President's official residence to deliver an ultimatum: stand down or face "recall", a technical term for the process of forcing an ANC official to leave their post.
In response to Zuma's step, the ANC leadership postponed an emergency meeting called for last Wednesday and started negotiations between Ramaphosa and the South African President.
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"I need to be furnished on what I've done", the 75-year-old president said. A party spokesperson said in a conference yesterday that while the party wants Zuma out urgently, they also want to install Rhamaphosa as president.
Ramaphosa was elected ANC president in December, replacing Zuma.
The ANC can "recall" the head of state, essentially forcing him to resign, but the process is a party-level instruction and he is under no constitutional obligation to obey.
The ANC said Zuma would respond to the recall decision tomorrow.
South Africa's economy, the most sophisticated on the continent, has stagnated during Zuma's nine-year tenure, with banks and mining companies reluctant to invest because of policy uncertainty and rampant corruption.
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The party aims to remove Mr Zuma from power so deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa can take over straight away.
"The NEC (National Executive Committee) decided.to recall its deployee Jacob Zuma", Magashule told reporters, saying the move "was taken only after exhaustive discussion on the impact such a recall would have on the country".
A judicial commission could soon begin to examine allegations of influence peddling and illegal contracts to Zuma cronies. Zuma has survived similar motions against him in the past, but many ruling party members now see him as a political liability and would likely vote against him.
Zuma faces more than 780 allegations of corruption relating to a 1990s arms deal. In 2016, South Africa's top court ruled that Zuma had acted unconstitutionally when he used $15 million in public funds to upgrade his private home, and ordered him to repay some of the money.
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