Jacob Zuma has resigned as the president of South Africa amidst numerous controversies surrounding his administration. Zuma announced his resignation in a televised address to the people on Wednesday, February 14. The ruling ANC party had asked the president to resign or face a possible vote of no confidence at the parliament on Thursday, February 15. The 75-year old politician has been under pressure to vacate his seat for deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, who is the new ANC leader. He said in his address: “I have served the people of South Africa to the best of my ability.” He insisted that he did not agree with the way the party has treated him.
Zuma said he decided to resign in order to prevent bloodshed as no life should be lost because of him. He said: “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 said. “Even though I disagree with the decision of the leadership of my organisation, I have always been a disciplined member of the ANC. “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.”
It is reported that Zuma refused to stand down even after police raided homes of his associates, the Gupta family, in Johannesburg. The Guptas, who have been named in a series of corruption probes, are said to be associates of Zuma, who has led South Africa since 2009. Some members of the ANC have also reportedly urged Zuma to step down, and the party itself formally took a position on the matter by asking Zuma to resign.