South African rand firms ahead of ANC meeting on Zuma’s fate

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s rand firmed against the dollar in early trade on Monday ahead of a meeting of the African National Congress (ANC) to decide the fate of President Jacob Zuma, who is under mounting pressure to step down.

At 0631 GMT, the rand traded at 11.9300 per dollar, 0.58 percent firmer than Friday’s close of 12.0000.

The meeting of the ruling ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC), which has the power to demand that Zuma step down, raises the prospect of a decisive showdown between Zuma’s allies and those who want Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to take over.

Ramaphosa was elected ANC leader in December.

The rand has strengthened on signs that Zuma could be ousted even before his second term as president ends in 2019, and might become firmer if the NEC demands his resignation at the meeting.

The yield for the benchmark government bond due in 2026 was down 4 basis points to 8.415 percent, reflecting stronger bond prices.

(Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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