South African President Jacob Zuma resigned on Wednesday after severe pressure from his own party, the African National Congress. This comes hours before a no-confidence motion against him in the Parliament, reported The Guardian.
In a televised statement, Zuma announced his resignation but added that he disagreed with his party’s decision. The 75-year-old leader said that violence and division within the ANC had forced him to quit. “No life should be lost in my name and also the ANC should never be divided in my name,” said Zuma. “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.”
Zuma has been accused, among other things, of using government money to build a luxurious private home. Under his rule, economic growth slowed down and unemployment reached record levels. Zuma, who has ruled South Africa since the end of apartheid, was till date considered the most powerful person in the country.
On Wednesday, the South African Police raided the Johannesburg home of a business family that is reportedly close to Zuma. The Indian-born Gupta brothers – Ajay, Atul and Rajesh – have been accused of “state capture”, a term coined to describe how the family allegedly used its relationship with Zuma to influence state contracts, Cabinet appointments and secure several multimillion-dollar deals in the country.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who took over the leadership of the ANC in December 2017, is now set to be elected by the Parliament to the highest office. Soon after Ramaphosa took over the party, analysts had pointed out he was likely to recall Zuma from presidency.