Jacob Zuma has resigned as the president of South Africa. The 75-year-old had been president since 2009. His resignation comes a day after he was disowned by the African National Congress, his party.
The party had given him until Wednesday night to resign or face a vote of no confidence to remove him from office.
Cyril Ramaphosa, the Deputy President, who has emerged the new leader of the ANC, is likely to succeed Zuma. It is however unlikely that Zuma’s cabinet will be sacked.
Zuma had survived eight previous attempts to remove him. The failed efforts were largely driven by opposition politicians. He said he stepped down to avoid violence and further division within the ANC.
“No life should be lost in my name and also the ANC should never be divided in my name,” 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.