New Delhi: Jacob Zuma has been forced to step down as president of nation. The controversial president announced his resignation in a televised address to the nation.
“I have to come to a decision to resign with immediate effect,” he said late on Wednesday in Pretoria.
Zuma’s resignation followed weeks of intense public pressure to step down amid long-standing corruption allegations.
Zuma, a former member of the ANC’s military wing during apartheid, rose through the ranks of the party to become president and led the country for more than a third of its time after apartheid.
Considered as one of the party stalwarts and having served for 10 years on the Robben Island prison alongside freedom fighter Nelson Mandela, Zuma’s presidency was marked by rampant scandal and corruption allegations, making him the most controversial president since the end of apartheid.
Cyril Ramaphosa, head of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), has been sworn in as South Africa’s president, fewer than 24 hours after the resignation of embattled ex-leader Jacob Zuma.
“I will try very hard not to disappoint the people of South Africa,” Ramaphosa said on Thursday as he ended his speech to parliament, shortly after ANC politicians elected him.
The election of Ramaphosa was largely ceremonial, with no other candidates put forward for the presidency.
Corruption is going to be the main priority for Ramaphosa and he has pledged to work with the opposition and tackle corruption while finishing his predecessor’s term, which ends with elections next year.
“Leave 2019 aside, let us deal with the current moment and work together on how we are going to improve the lives of our people, rather than grandstanding,” Ramaphosa told the members of parliament.
“Issues that have to do with corruption, of how we can straighten out our state-owned enterprises and how we deal with state capture are on our radar.”
After Zuma’s departure the ANC is deeply divided and the party is struggling to repair its reputation in his wake.