Jacob Zuma resigned as President of South Africa, reluctantly heeding orders by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to bring an end to his nine scandal-plagued years in power
In a 30-minute farewell address to the nation, 75-year-old Zuma said he disagreed with the way the ANC had shoved him toward an early exit after the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as party president in December, but would accept its orders.
“I have therefore come to the decision to resign as president of the republic with immediate effect,” Zuma said.
“Even though I disagree with the decision of the leadership of my organization, I have always been a disciplined member of the ANC,” he said.
The ruling party had said it would vote him out on Thursday.
“No life should be lost in my name. And also the ANC should not be divided in my name,” Zuma said.
His resignation came just hours after police raided the luxury home of the Gupta family, Indian-born billionaire allies of the president who have been at the center of corruption allegations against Zuma and his circle for years. Zuma and the Guptas have always denied wrongdoing.
The ANC, which replaced Zuma as party leader in December with Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, ordered him to step down as president on Tuesday. When he failed to resign on Wednesday, it announced that it would back an opposition motion in parliament to force him out.