Zuma re­signs; Ts­van­gi­rai dies

Kuwait Times - - Front Page -

PRE­TO­RIA/HARARE: South

African Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma an­nounced his im­me­di­ate res­ig­na­tion yes­ter­day after the rul­ing ANC party threat­ened to eject him from of­fice via a par­lia­men­tary vote of no con­fi­dence. Scan­dal-tainted Zuma said in a 30-minute na­tional tele­vi­sion ad­dress that he had

“come to the de­ci­sion to re­sign as pres­i­dent of the repub­lic with im­me­di­ate ef­fect”. “I have served the peo­ple of South

Africa to the best of my abil­ity.

I am for­ever grate­ful that they trusted me with the high­est of­fice in the land,” he said.

Zuma, whose rep­u­ta­tion has been stained by years-long al­le­ga­tions of graft, had been in­structed to step down by the

African Na­tional Congress

(ANC) party. He com­plained about the process, say­ing: “I don’t fear ex­it­ing po­lit­i­cal of­fice how­ever I have only asked my party to ar­tic­u­late my trans­gres­sions and the rea­son for its in­struc­tions that I va­cate of­fice.” Zuma has been at log­ger­heads with deputy pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa, his ex­pected suc­ces­sor as pres­i­dent and the new head of the ANC. Par­lia­ment could elect Ramaphosa as pres­i­dent as early as to­day or to­mor­row.

Sep­a­rately, Mor­gan Ts­van­gi­rai, the vet­eran Zim­bab­wean op­po­si­tion leader who fought Robert Mu­gabe’s regime for many years, died yes­ter­day after bat­tling against can­cer, a party of­fi­cial said. Ts­van­gi­rai, who founded the Move­ment for Demo­cratic Change (MDC) in 1999, was among the most prom­i­nent crit­ics of Mu­gabe, the long-time au­thor­i­tar­ian leader who was ousted from power in Novem­ber.

“It is sad for me to an­nounce that we have lost our icon and fighter for democ­racy,” Elias Mudzuri, one of the vice-pres­i­dents of the MDC, said on Twit­ter. Ts­van­gi­rai’s death was con­firmed to AFP by an­other se­nior party mem­ber. He was 65. — AFP

Ja­cob Zuma

Mor­gan Ts­van­gi­rai

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