A STATE of the nation address which was due to be delivered by South African president Jacob Zuma has been postponed.

Parliament speaker Baleka Mbete’s announcement over tomorrow’s planned speech comes as Zuma faces intense pressure to resign over corruption scandals which have hurt the popularity of the ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC).

Mbete said the decision to postpone the speech was made in the “best interests” of South Africa.

Opposition parties have said Zuma should not give the speech and had called for a postponement. Some opposition legislators have disrupted past appearances by Zuma in parliament.

Earlier, the Nelson Mandela Foundation said Zuma must go “sooner rather than later”, and that any delay would lead to violent conflict. The non-profit group added that the president’s departure would not be enough to address deep-rooted corruption.

The organisation first called for Zuma to resign more than a year ago. The president has been embroiled in a series of scandals but denies wrongdoing. Many members of the ANC have turned against him, fearing that his presence will hurt the party ahead of 2019 elections.