Zuma re­signs as Pres­i­dent of South Africa

Western Mail - - NEWS -

SOUTH African Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma has re­signed in a tele­vised ad­dress to the na­tion.

By step­ping down, he avoided his al­most cer­tain ouster in a par­lia­men­tary vote sched­uled for to­day af­ter years of cor­rup­tion scan­dals.

Mr Zuma’s res­ig­na­tion came af­ter the rul­ing African Na­tional Congress party in­structed him to leave of­fice by the end of yes­ter­dasy or else face the mo­tion of no con­fi­dence in the coun­try’s par­lia­ment.

His de­par­ture ended a lead­er­ship cri­sis in one of Africa’s big­gest economies and set the stage for rul­ing party MPs to elect act­ing pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa, pre­vi­ously deputy pres­i­dent, as Mr Zuma’s suc­ces­sor.

“I have there­fore come to the de­ci­sion to re­sign as pres­i­dent of the repub­lic with im­me­di­ate ef­fect,” said Mr Zuma, who added that he took the de­ci­sion even though he dis­agreed with the rul­ing party’s de­mand that he quit.

Mr Zuma, 75, had said he was will­ing to re­sign but wanted to stay in of­fice for sev­eral more months.

“Of course, I must ac­cept that if my party and my com­pa­tri­ots wish that I be re­moved from of­fice, they must ex­er­cise that right and do so in the man­ner pre­scribed by the con­sti­tu­tion,” Mr Zuma said.

The for­mer pres­i­dent was de­fi­ant in a tele­vi­sion in­ter­view ear­lier yes­ter­day, say­ing he had done noth­ing wrong.

“I’m be­ing vic­timised here,” Mr Zuma told state broad­caster SABC.

> Ja­cob Zuma

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