Jacob Zuma bows to party pressure, resigns with immediate effect
by Chris Akor
February 15, 2018 | 4:37 am| | | Start Conversation
South Africa’s embattled president, Jacob Zuma, resigned from office Wednesday night after intense pressure from his party. In a televised statement, he said although he disagreed with the decision by the party, he was resigning with immediate effect.
The 75-year old had been under intense pressure from his party to step down for the new party leader, the 65-year old lawyer and business man, Cyril Ramaphosa.
Speaking earlier in the day at an interview with state broadcaster, SABC, after the ANC announced it had ordered the Chief Whip to proceed with a no-confidence vote if he did not stand down by Wednesday, Zuma said he’s done nothing wrong and saw no reason to resign.
Hours after, he saw the futility of his position and threw in the towel.
“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 announced.
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 my life” he said.
Analysts have blamed Zuma’s reluctance to leave office on his concern for his future and especially on the need to avoid going to jail over the various corruption scandals he faces.
Zuma’s exit draws the curtain on his scandal-marred administration that the ANC was determined to get rid of to allow new leader, Cyril Ramaphosa quickly begin his promised reforms of revamping the economy, clamping down on corruption and rebuild the party image ahead of elections in 2019.
Although Zuma had always blamed his problems on white monopoly capital that wants to get him out at all cost, in reality, some of his fiercest foes are from within his party, the ANC, comrades who fought white minority rule in the same trenches as he did.
The ANC welcomed his resignation saying it provided “certainty to the people of South Africa.” Speaking to reporters at the party headquarters, deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte said “President Zuma remains a principled member of the ANC. The wants to salute the outstanding contribution he has made.”
Deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa will take over immediately and is expected to be formally elected into the position within the next 30 days.
In a sign of what is to come, the special police, on Wednesday, raided the home of the controversial Gupta family with links to Zuma and business partners with his son Duduzane. Most of Zuma’s problems are due to the links with the Guptas.
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