Following series of pressure and public outcry from the parliament, the opposition parties and even the ruling African Nations Congress (ANC) bothering in corruption charges against, the South African President Jacob Zuma has resigned as leader of South Africa on Wednesday evening.
The announcement came despite his initial refusal to resign, even in the face of a no-confidence vote supported by his own party.
But in a televised address to the nation Zuma suddenly announced his resignation, emphasising that “no leader should seek an easy way out simply because they could not face life at the end of their term without the perks that come with their political office.
The 75 years old Zuma in the broadcast said,
“I fear no motion of no confidence or impeachment … I will continue to serve the people of South Africa and the ANC. I will dedicate my life to continuing to work for the execution of the policies of our organisation.
“No life should be lost in my name. The ANC should never been divided in my name. I have therefore come to the decision to resign as president of the republic with immediate effect” he stated.
He resign as president of the republic “with immediate effect,” he said, “even though he disagree with the decision of the leadership of his organisation . He claimed that he always been a disciplined member of the organisation, insisting that though he is leaving but he will continue to serve the people of South Africa as well as the ANC, his political Organization.
The former South African President said he had served the people of South Africa to the best of his ability and will forever be grateful that they trusted him with their highest office in the land, but he resignation came with an understanding that ” I will subject myself to the supreme law of the land, the Constitution” Zuma assured.
On Wednesday morning, the ANC parliamentary caucus met and agreed to support the Economic Freedom Fighters’ motion for a vote of no confidence after Zuma refused to resign – despite being recalled by the ANC’s national executive committee on Tuesday.
Shortly after the ANC caucus meeting, a defiant Zuma gave a live television interview to the SABC where he defended himself and rejected the attempt by the ANC’s top leadership to remove him from his position.
Zuma said he disagreed with the notion that he had to be removed purely because the ANC had a new president.
However, at 10pm the president seemed to accept his fate.
Zuma’s resignation leaves the path clear for deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, who took over the leadership of the ANC in December, to be elected by parliament as his successor.
Zuma, a former anti-apartheid activist who has led the ANC since 2007 and been South Africa’s president since 2009, was due to leave power next year.
His tenure has been marred by economic decline and multiple charges of graft that have undermined the image and legitimacy of the party that led South Africans to freedom in 1994.