South African President Jacob Zuma Quits Under Pressure From Party
Jacob Zuma resigned as President of South Africa on Wednesday, 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 towards an early exit after the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as party president in December, but would accept its orders.
"Even though I disagree with the decision of the leadership of my organisation, I have always been a disciplined member of the ANC," he said.
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, hours after armed police raided the luxury home of his friends, the Gupta brothers, as part of an anti-corruption investigation.
The resignation of South African President Jacob Zuma as head of state brings certainty to a country gripped in political drama for weeks, a senior official in the ruling African National Congress (ANC) said.
His resignation ends the career of the former anti-apartheid resistance fighter, 75, who has four wives, a sharp tongue and a decades-long history of entanglement in scandals that polarised Nelson Mandela's "Rainbow Nation".
The rand currency, which has gained ground whenever Zuma has hit political turbulence, soared more than one percent to a 2-1/2 year high of 11.79 against the dollar during the day, as pressure piled on Zuma to resign.
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