But, according to ANC insiders at the meeting, Zuma's supporters were dealt a heavy blow during the debate when Dlamini-Zuma said the president should not be allowed to stay in office until the end of his term in 2019 and or be allowed to deliver the State of the Nation Address (Sona).
Dlamini-Zuma spoke just before Ramaphosa and secretary-general Ace Magashule left the gathering for their late-night meeting with Zuma where they once again asked him to resign.
At the post-NEC press conference yesterday, Magashule confirmed that Zuma wanted to stay in office for another three to six months, as Sowetan reported, and that the party would not agree to this. He said the ANC constitution gave power to the NEC to recall its deployee, and that the decision to oust Zuma is final.
Although it had not set a deadline for Zuma to resign, Magashule made it clear that they expected the president "to respond" today to the decision.