Tripoli, Libya (CNN) -- Eight generals from embattled Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's army have defected and are now in Italy, the Italian Foreign Ministry told CNN on Wednesday.
No further information was immediately available about the defections, and the identities of the generals were not known.
The news came on the same day that South African President Jacob Zuma met with Gadhafi to push for a cease-fire between Gadhafi's forces and rebel fighters, officials said.
Zuma arrived in Tripoli Monday afternoon. It is his second visit to Libya's capital aimed at mediating an end to the fighting that began when Gadhafi dug in his heels against popular efforts to bring about an end to his 42-year-rule.