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FILE PHOTO: South Africa's President Jacob Zuma attends the 37th Ordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government in the capital, Pretoria, South Africa, August 19, 2017. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo

(reuters_tickers)

EAST LONDON, South Africa (Reuters) - The removal of South African President Jacob Zuma as head of state was not discussed at an African National Congress meeting on Wednesday, the party's Secretary-General Ace Magashule said.

There was widespread local media speculation this week that Zuma's opponents in the ANC's newly elected 80-member national executive committee would raise a motion of no-confidence at its first meeting under new party leader Cyril Ramaphosa.

Magashule told reporters following the meeting that the only item on the agenda was the statement to be read by Ramaphosa on Jan. 8 to mark the 106th birthday of the ANC.

(Reporting by Ed Stoddard; Writing by Joe Brock; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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Reuters