09/02/2018 08:49 GMT | Updated 09/02/2018 08:49 GMT

ANC Leaders Ditch Celebrations For 'Other Commitments'

This comes at a time when Cyril Ramaphosa's negotiations with President Jacob Zuma about the latter's exit are at an advanced stage.

The ANC's top six leaders after they were elected at the party's national conference last year.

The ANC's top six has been called away from their Mandela centenary celebrations in Cape Town to attend to "other commitments".

This comes at a time when ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa and his negotiations with President Jacob Zuma re the latter's resignation as head of state are reportedly at an advanced stage.

In a media statement on Wednesday, the ANC announced that it would launch celebrations in honour of Nelson Mandela on Sunday, February 11 in Cape Town. The ANC's top leaders were expected to be in Western Cape from Friday visiting the families of deceased leaders, laying wreaths at grave sites and meeting traditional leaders.

But on Friday, none of the leaders pitched.

In a statement, the party said its national officials will no longer participate in the build-up programmes to Sunday's rally because of "various other commitments they are required to attend to".

Members of the party's national executive committee are, however, still present at the events. The party also assured reporters that Ramaphosa will still address the rally on Sunday, saying the programme for the event will remain unchanged.