Jacob Zuma resigns as South Africa’s president ending his nine-year reign

President Zuma when he was reading his resignation statement. PHOTO: COURTESY.

Johannesburg, SOUTH AFRICA: Embattled Jacob Zuma has finally resigned as the President of South Africa after intense pressure from his party.

Mr. Zuma, who has been in power since 2009, through a televised statement on Wednesday evening, announced his resignation saying that he will continue to serve the people of South Africa as well as his party African National Congress.

“I have come to the decision to resign with immediate effect. Even though I disagree with the decision of the leadership of my organization, I have always been a disciplined member of the ANC.” Said Zuma.

The 75-year old had been faced with corruption scandals which made ANC force him to step down or face a vote of no confidence in parliament.

A meeting of the ANC’s National Executive Committee had announced its decision to recall Mr. Zuma on Tuesday and gave him until the end of Wednesday to resign.

ANC through a statement, welcomed the move by Zuma to resign, as a reaffirmation to his commitment to the movement.

“President Zuma has reaffirmed his commitment to the principles, practices and character of the movement to which he has dedicated his life.

Having taken the difficult decision to recall Comrade Jacob Zuma, the African National Congress nonetheless wants to salute the outstanding contribution he has made and express its profound gratitude to him for the role he has played in the African National Congress spanning over sixty years of loyal service.” Read part of the statement.

ANC has called for the parliament to ensure that Cyril Ramaphosa is elected as the President Of South Africa.

“The ANC now expects all our deployed members of parliament to cast their vote for the ANC President, Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa, as the candidate the ANC will nominate for President, when Parliament convenes to elect a President of the Republic.

It is critical that South Africans are now united around the task of growth, job creation and economic transformation.” Read the statement.

President Zuma a former member of the ANC’s military wing in the days of apartheid, rose through the ranks, first serving the government as a Provincial Member of the Executive Council (MEC) in KwaZulu-Natal before assuming his role as Deputy President and ultimately, President of the Republic.

This comes as the world on Thursday woke up to the news of the death of Zimbabwe’s opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai