After mounting pressure from his parent party, African National Congress (ANC), the South African President Jacob Zuma resigned from his office with immediate effect on Wednesday. Accused of corruption and favoritism, the 75-year-old has been under increasing pressure to give way to his deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
His resignation came just hours after the police raided the compound of Gupta business empire in South Africa. Guptas (also known as Zuptas) are an influential business family in South Africa, who had alleged close links to President Zuma, who had helped them of ‘state capture’. According to reports, the elite police unit, Hawks, have arrested one of the Gupta brother, Ajay in relation with the R220m looted from the failed dairy farm in Vrede.
South African senior journalist Monica Laganparsad speaking to Newsclickin an interview said that, the resignation of Zuma was expected as he was left with no option. “After surviving multiple no-confidence motions against him in the parliament, his nine lives are over.”
Zuma agreed to step down after his live speech addressing the nation where he said that he disagrees with the party’s act of removing him.
“Even though I disagree with the decision of the leadership of my organisation I have always been a disciplined member of the ANC," said Zuma.
Noting that he had served the people of South Africa to the best of his ability, Zuma added“I fear no motion of no confidence or impeachment, for they are the lawful mechanisms for the people of this beautiful country to remove their president."
He said that violence and discord within the ANC had influenced his decision to step down.
"No life should be lost in my name and also the ANC should never be divided in my name. I have therefore come to the decision to resign as president of the republic with immediate effect," he was quoted as saying.
"As I leave I will continue to serve the people of South Africa as well as the ANC, the organisation I have served... all of my life."
The resignation saves Zuma from facing another no confidence motion.
"It has been going on for almost three to four years and we believe that we do need to give this comrade respect and also spare him the humiliation of the ongoing votes of no confidence that come to Parliament," ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte said.
Responding to Zuma’s question of why he was being recalled by the party, Durate said "I think that President Zuma is within his rights to request reasons or [for wanting to know] what his transgressions are.” He further added that ANC will provide him the reasons for the move.
The ANC responding to the Zuma's resignation noted that the move provided "certainty to the people of South Africa.”
Duarte told reporters that Zuma, even after his resignation, remains a principled member of the ANC, and the party does recognize his contribution.