South African President, Mr. Jacob Zuma who has been under intense pressure from his party to resign and step aside have finally caved in. He resigned as President of South Africa yesterday after delivering a statement in a televised address to South Africans yesterday.
In the broadcast, Zuma said he would resign ‘with immediate effect’ in response to the ruling African National Congress’ (ANC) order to quit. The ANC said earlier it would move to oust Zuma whom the described as ‘scandal-tainted’ in a parliamentary vote of no confidence if he did not depart voluntarily. That vote had been set for today Thursday February 15, 2018. But to avoid such a shameful exit, Zuma resigned from office, which is rare among African leaders.
But before he resigned, Zuma kept South Africans guessing as to whether he would resign until the final part of a half-hour speech, insisting that he was not fazed by the no confidence motion being organised against him by the ANC in the national assembly. The 75-year-old president said he disagreed with the way the ANC wanted him to depart ahead of schedule following the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as party president in December. Zuma who has been in power since 2009, has been under increasing pressure to hand power over to Ramaphosa. He is reported to have 800-odd corruption allegations cases facing him.
Earlier on Wednesday he flatly rejected an order by the ANC to resign, arguing the governing party’s demands were ‘very unfair’. ‘I need to be furnished on what I have done [wrong] and unfortunately that hasn’t been done,’ he said. He argued that the terms of his departure had been cobbled together ‘in too much of a rush.’ ‘I need to be furnished on what I’ve done,’ Mr Zuma said in the interview with state broadcaster SABC on Wednesday. ‘What is this hurry?’
The interview was held after police raided the residential compound of a wealthy business family described as some of President Zuma’s closest allies. The departing president said that violence and disunity within the ANC had contributed towards his decision to depart. ‘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. ‘Even though I disagree with the decision of the leadership of my organisation, I have always been a disciplined member of the ANC. ‘As I leave I will continue to serve the people of South Africa as well as the ANC, the organisation I have served… all of my life.’