Zuma had asked the party to give him a notice period of three to six months but that had been rejected, Magashule said. "A former cabinet official blew the whistle and said the Guptas offered him a $50 million dollar bribe", Granitz reports.
A strong press contingent was also waiting outside Zuma's official residence, Mahlamba Ndlopfu, close to the Union Buildings.
Zuma's second and final term was due to end around mid-2019.
Zuma said he would make another statement later Wednesday, raising the possibility that he might change his position and resign voluntarily rather than face the humiliation of his ouster by the combined votes of the ruling and opposition parties. The Guptas have business links to Zuma and his family and a string of witnesses say they had influence over lucrative state contracts and appointments.
In explaining its decision to order Zuma to leave power, the ANC did not refer directly to the scandals surrounding his presidency.
ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule broke the news to a packed news conference at the party's headquarters in Johannesburg on Tuesday, saying: "The NEC decided as follows: to recall comrade Jacob Zuma in accordance with the ANC constitution".
In his first public remarks since leaders of the African National Congress demanded he step down, Zuma defiantly refused to go and complained the party was trying to rush him out.
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Asked later whether he was concerned the helicopters might be used against Filipino citizens, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau replied: "Absolutely".
Alleging he was being victimised, he said, "It was very unfair to me that this (resignation) issue is raised".
However, the Guptas lawyer Ahmed Ghani said his clients had not been arrested, South Africa's Times Live reported.
"The investigations and action simply can not end [with the Guptas] and must continue to all those implicated, including key ministers", Zakhele Mbehle from the Democratic Alliance said in a statement.
The no-confidence plan is supported by opposition parties and so appears nearly certain to succeed in kicking out Mr Zuma, who has been leader since 2009.
Zuma is expected to respond to the recall on Wednesday, said Magashule.
Zuma was set to address South Africans at 10:00 on Wednesday, but this did not happen.
Zuma is already facing a no-confidence motion in parliament set for February 22 and brought by the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters.
"We expect the ZAR to test the R11.80/$ level if the president does resign, but the longer the saga drags on the more hard it will become for the ZAR to gain ground", Cilliers said earlier.