South Africa’s embattled President Jacob Zuma has resigned, ending a 9-year rule seen by many as the most troubled period for the rainbow nation since the end of the apartheid.
Zuma’s decision came after days of intense pressure from his own party to give way to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, the ANC’s new leader.
He resigned on Wednesday night hours after refusing to throw in the towel, forcing the ANC parliamentary caucus to table a motion of no confidence on Thursday.
“We can no longer wait beyond today. President Zuma might respond later but we can’t keep South Africans waiting‚” ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile told journalists yesterday.
The motion of no confidence was scheduled for 2pm on today. But in a televised statement, President Zuma said he was stepping down with immediate effect but said he disagreed with his ANC party’s decision.
Mashatile said ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa will be voted in as acting president to serve out the remainder of Zuma’s term until the country goes to the polls in 2019. However, the opposition is demanding early polls.
— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) February 12, 2018
“The news will please the business community, markets and international investors. Millions of South Africans from all communities, who were concerned about the long-term consequences of Zuma’s rule for a country struggling to overcome many of the most damaging legacies of its troubled history, will also be relieved” reported the Guardian.
Jacob Zuma faces numerous allegations of corruption.
Earlier on Wednesday, police swooped on the Johannesburg home of the powerful and wealthy Gupta family with whom Zuma has close ties. Just like Zuma, they deny any wrongdoing.