South Africa’s ruling ANC has met to discuss the future of President Jacob Zuma, amid protests both for and against him outside party headquarters in Johannesburg.
Sky News’ Africa Correspondent, John Sparks, said two factions of the same party had been “literally fighting in the streets”.
ANC spokeswoman Khusela Diko insisted there was “no crisis” in the party and it was used to “robust discussions”.
There has been growing pressure on Mr Zuma to step down amid a weakening economy and allegations of corruption.
The 75-year-old was replaced in December as ANC leader by deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, who is reportedly lobbying behind the scenes for him to resign as South African leader.
The six most powerful officials in the ANC met Mr Zuma at his official residence in Pretoria late on Sunday, but no update was announced.
On Monday afternoon, the ANC summoned its National Working Committee, which handles the party’s day-to-day running, for a meeting at Luthuli House in Johannesburg.
After a pro-Zuma group, Black First Land First, said it would protest in the city, a faction of the ANC loyal to Mr Ramaphosa declared it would “defend” Luthuli House.
At least one woman was kicked and beaten with sticks in subsequent clashes between ANC activists, AFP reported.
A meeting of the National Executive Committee would be needed to force Mr Zuma to resign.
Those loyal to him say he should be allowed to complete his second and final term in office, ending when elections are held next year.
Mr Zuma is “legally allowed to stay, but the clock is ticking”, John Sparks said, adding: “It’s a day of real political tensions in this country.
“There are a lot of South Africans and ANC members who want Jacob Zuma to step down.
“They’ve had enough of him. He’s had a succession of alleged corruption schemes and personal enrichment schemes.
“Jacob Zuma says he is innocent, that he hasn’t done anything wrong, that he has been the victim of various conspiracies.
“He has blamed white-owned businesses.”