Following the orders of the ruling African National Congress, Jacob Zuma has resigned from his position as the President of South Africa. The ANC had replaced him as the party leader with Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa in December.
The party had issued orders for him to step down as President on Tuesday but after he failed to present his resignation on Wednesday, it was announced that the ANC would vote him out through an opposition motion in the parliament on Thursday.
The 75- year old, former anti-apartheid resistance fighter said that although he disagreed with the way the party had shown him the door after the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as party president, he would still accept its orders.
Jacob Zuma had been in power for nine years and has often been embroiled in scandals. In a farewell speech addressed to the nation, Zuma said, “I have therefore come to the decision to resign as president of the republic with immediate effect.”
“Even though I disagree with the decision of the leadership of my organisation, I have always been a disciplined member of the ANC,” he said.
“No life should be lost in my name. And also the ANC should not be divided in my name,” Zuma added.
Welcoming his decision to quit, ANC’s deputy secretary general, Jessie Duarte said, “This decision provides certainty to the people of South Africa at a time when economic and social challenges to the country require an urgent and resolute response.”
His resignation ends the career of the 75-year old, who has four wives and is seen as someone with a sharp tongue. His scandals often polarised Nelson Mandela’s “Rainbow Nation”.
Before Jacob Zuma announced his resignation, ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu said that Cyril Ramaphosa could be sworn in as new head of state as early as Friday.