(Bloomberg) -- South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s allies are steeling themselves before a meeting of the governing party’s top leaders at which he’s likely to face calls for his resignation.

The African National Congress’s National Executive Committee will on Thursday discuss the findings by an advisory panel that there may be a case for Ramaphosa’s impeachment. The panel found the president may have violated sections of the constitution following a theft of $580,000 that was stashed in a sofa at a game farm he owns.

The release of the panel’s report on Wednesday night triggered a slump in the rand. The NEC meeting is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

Party officials met with the ANC’s chief whip and the speaker of parliament to discuss the report on Wednesday, according to people familiar with the matter. A group of NEC members sympathetic to Ramaphosa held a meeting of their own, said the people who asked not to be identified discussing private party matters.

Pule Mabe, the ANC’s spokesman, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment sent by text message.

Resignation Option

The meeting of Ramaphosa’s supporters was called by Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele. Two NEC members who are close to Ramaphosa expressed concern that the president may opt to resign -- a replay of what happened in June when the scandal over the game-farm theft first erupted and he took advice on whether or not he should quit.

Under party rules, members facing criminal charges must step aside from their roles to allow legal processes to unfold. While Ramaphosa hasn’t been charged -- and on Wednesday reiterated his denial of any wrongdoing -- there may be instances in which the party’s integrity body may ask officials facing allegations of wrongdoing to step down, Treasurer-General Paul Mashatile said in an interview on Tuesday.

“If there are serious allegations against you that bring the ANC into disrepute, you should approach the integrity commission,” Mashatile said. “The commission may well say: ‘Yes you are not charged, but we think the allegations against you are so damaging that you should step aside.’ Once they say so, you should, even if you are not charged.”

Mashatile is a candidate for deputy president of the ANC at its five-yearly elective conference that’s scheduled to start on Dec. 16. The integrity commission had been scheduled to deliver it’s own report on the scandal at an NEC meeting scheduled for Dec. 9.

Ramaphosa previously faced calls to step aside over the farm scandal at an NEC meeting last month.

Beyond Thursday’s NEC meeting, lawmakers are scheduled to debate the panel’s findings on Dec. 6, and the ANC will have to decide whether to block its adoption. If it’s accepted, a panel of lawmakers will be established to investigate the president’s conduct and it could take months, or even years to complete its work.

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