The 75-year-old South Africa President Jacob Zuma last night resigned his office with immediate effect. He made the announcement in a televised address to the nation. Earlier, Mr Zuma’s governing African National Congress (ANC) told him to resign or face a vote of no confidence in parliament today.
He has been under increasing pressure to give way to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa as he has been accused of series of allegations bordering on corruption. His resignation came at the end of a long speech in which he said he disagreed with the way the ANC had acted towards him.
He said he did not fear a motion of no-confidence, adding: “I have served the people of South Africa to the best of my ability.” Mr Zuma also said that violence and division within the ANC had influenced his decision to step down.
“No life should be lost in my name and also the ANC should never be divided in my name. I have therefore come to the decision to resign as president of the republic with immediate effect,” he said.
Puma added that he will continue to serve South Africa and the ANC. He said:
As I leave, I will continue to serve the people of South Africa as well as the AN.
I fear no motion of no confidence or impeachment. They are the lawful mechanisms for the people of this beautiful country to remove their president.
I’ve served the people of South Africa to the best of my ability. I am forever grateful that they trusted me with their highest office in the land, but when I accepted the deployment I understood and undertook to subject myself to the supreme law of the land, the Constitution.
But he leaves office with several scandals hanging over him, and with South Africa’s economy in dire straits.
The Parliament will today elect Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa into office as President.