South Africa’s Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says he is holding direct talks with embattled President Jacob Zuma over a transfer of power.
Mr Ramaphosa, who heads South Africa’s governing party, said both he and Mr Zuma understood the need for a speedy resolution.
He said the pair aim to conclude talks on the president’s future within days.
It is being seen as the first confirmation that Mr Zuma will step down shortly.
The 75-year-old president is facing extensive corruption charges after a turbulent nine years in power.
He has faced increasing pressure to quit since December, when Mr Ramaphosa replaced him as leader of the ruling African National Congress (ANC).