South African President Jacob Zuma is fighting for his presidency in the capital Pretoria as the ruling party's highest decision-making body considers a motion for him step down.

The meeting of the National Executive Committee of the ruling African National Congress was scheduled to end on Sunday but was extended to Monday so that each of the 80 members could state their position on whether or not Zuma should continue as president.

The motion for Zuma to leave office was introduced by Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom.

The party's executive committee has the power to recall Zuma as president. In 2008 the committee recalled then president Thabo Mbeki after he was defeated by Zuma in the ANC's leadership contest.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is likely to take over if Zuma resigns.