Senior members of South Africa's ANC party were set to hold an emergency meeting yesterday to discuss whether Jacob Zuma should stay in office after the embattled president reportedly refused to resign.
Zuma, whose tenure has been engulfed by corruption scandals, is due to deliver the annual state of the nation address on Thursday, despite growing calls for him to quit.
The African National Congress (ANC)'s national working committee was due at meet at Luthuli House, the party headquarters in Johannesburg.
A brief scuffle erupted outside the building as Zuma supporters clashed with rival ANC activists, an AFP reporter witnessed.
Some ANC members are pushing for Cyril Ramaphosa, the new head of the party and the nation's deputy president, to replace Zuma, 75, as president immediately.
But Zuma loyalists have said that the president should complete his second and final term in office, which would end when elections are held next year.
"Yes, it is happening, it will be dealing with this situation," a party official told AFP in reply to a question about the meeting and media speculation over Zuma's possible exit.
Yesterday's meeting cannot directly oust Zuma. But it has the power to convene the 80-member national executive committee, which would be able to "recall" him, effectively forcing him to step down.