Thursday, 24 May, 2018

Jacob Zuma has resigned as president of South Africa

President of South Africa Jacob Zuma gestures during the 54th National Conference of the ruling African National Congress at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg South Africa Party Urges Zuma to Leave Presidency
Lora Ball | 15 February, 2018, 20:07

President Jacob Zuma was elected president of South Africa in 2009 under the ruling African National Congress.

It ends a long week of limbo for many South Africans as the ANC has tried to persuade Zuma to resign and renew South Africans' faith in the party.

"I have therefore come to the decision to resign as president of the republic with immediate effect, even though I disagree with the leadership of my organization, " he said.

But Zuma's office said there was no "official communication" of any impending address but urged the media to wait.

The ruling party has said it expected a response on Wednesday from Zuma. By the end of the week, Ramaphosa is likely to be elected president by the ANC-dominated parliament and to give a state of the nation address that had been postponed during the political turmoil.

The country's main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, will cooperate with Ramaphosa if he acts in the interests of the South African people, said party leader Mmusi Maimane. He said the issue of corruption is on "our radar screen".

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Media captionWho is Cyril Ramaphosa?

"We will hold you accountable and I will see you in 2019 on the ballot box", Maimane said.

A judicial commission is preparing to investigate the alleged graft associated with the India-born Gupta brothers, who moved to South Africa around the time of the transition from white minority rule to democracy in the 1990s. Mr Zuma denies any wrongdoing. South Africa's chief prosecutor is expected to make a decision on whether to prosecute Zuma on the old charges, which were reinstated previous year after being thrown out in 2009.

But he leaves office with several scandals hanging over him, and with South Africa's economy in dire straits. The president paid back some of the money. He was acquitted of rape. He has led the party and the country for ten years. He was also leader during the fatal shooting by police of several dozen protesters during labor unrest at a platinum mine in Marikana in 2012. If the ANC wants to install Cyril Ramaphosa they must go ahead and do that.

The scribe of the ANC, Ace Magashule, had told a news conference that Zuma would respond by Wednesday on the decision to "recall" him. "We are working, aren't we?"

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