President Jacob Zuma

The South African State of the Nation Address that was set to take place on Thursday has been postponed, it was announced on Tuesday.

A new date will be announced, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete said. 

Mbete was addressing journalists outside Parliament to announce the official postponement of SONA. She was with Thandi Modise, the chairperson of the National Council Of Provinces.

She confirmed that they were continuing their interaction with the president of the ANC Cyril Ramaphosa. 

Mbete said the fear of a possible repeat of previous disruptions of SONA addresses had prompted Parliament's decision. 

Jackson Mthembu said the ANC caucus welcomed the decision to postpone SONA.

This latest development comes after rising calls for President Jacob Zuma to step down and to not deliver SONA, both from within his own party and the opposition.

The announcement by Mbete comes as the ANC on Tuesday confirmed that its National Executive Committee (NEC) will on Wednesday make a decision on the fate of the president.

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte, who was introducing the new ANC spokesman Pule Mabe, told reporters in Johannesburg that a binding collective decision will be made by the NEC on the fate of Zuma at a meeting in Cape Town on Wednesday.

Zuma has thus far resisted calls by his own party to step down as head of state, opening the way for a no-confidence vote or possible impeachment, while a decision on reinstating hundreds of decade-old corruption and racketeering charges is pending.