Jacob Zuma resigned as President of South Africa on Wednesday, heeding orders by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to bring an end to his nine scandal-plagued years in power.
In a 30-minute farewell address to the nation, 75-year-old Zuma said he disagreed with the way the ANC had shoved him towards an early exit after the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as party president in December, but would accept its orders.
“I have therefore come to the decision to resign as president of the republic with immediate effect,” Zuma said.
“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.
The ruling party had said it would vote him out on Thursday.
“No life should be lost in my name. And also the ANC should not be divided in my name,” Zuma said.
The ANC, which replaced Zuma as party leader in December with Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, ordered him to step down as president on Tuesday. When he failed to resign on Wednesday, it announced that it would back an opposition motion in parliament to force him out.
His resignation ends the career of the former anti-apartheid resistance fighter, 75, who has four wives, a sharp tongue and a decades-long history of entanglement in scandals that polarised Nelson Mandela’s “Rainbow Nation”.
The rand currency, which has gained ground whenever Zuma has hit political turbulence, soared more than one percent to a 2-1/2 year high of 11.79 against the dollar during the day, as pressure piled on Zuma to resign.
more recommended stories
Booze, drugs and guns a real threat in South African
South Africa is on a dangerous.
Grief Sucks; Brilliant Pongo shares his journey with grief in new book
In his latest offering author Brilliant.
SA President Ramaphosa: NATO to blame for Russia’s war in Ukraine
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has.
Khanyi Mbau thanks her boyfriend for supporting her acting career
It is perhaps time for Africans.
Former South Africa President Jacob Zuma backs Putin in Ukraine conflict
Former South Africa President Jacob Zuma.
Nigerians banned from going to fight in Ukraine
Nigeria has said it will not.
Ukraine crisis: First batch of students arrive in Ghana
Ghana has become the first African.
African students ‘badly treated at Ukraine borders’
Cold and fearful, scores of South.