Ending his nine-year controversial term, Jacob Zuma resigned as the President of South Africa on Wednesday. Zuma ended his association with the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party after the party was planning to oust him along with the opposition through a motion of no confidence. Zuma’s resignation came three days after African National Congress’ (ANC) national leadership decided to ask him to resign, which he had refused.
In a nationally-televised broadcast, Zuma announced his resignation from the coveted post but was adamant that the decision of electing Cyril Ramaphosa as the new President in his place was wrong. “I disagree with the decision of the leadership of my organisation, (but) I have always been a disciplined member of the organisation. I fear no motion of no confidence or impeachment. They are the lawful mechanisms for the people of this beautiful country to remove their president,” Zuma was quoted as saying by PTI.
Zuma also pledged to serve the organisation that he joined as a teenager to fight against apartheid. His resignation ends the regime of an anti-apartheid fighter who has a sharp tongue and many entangled scams. He has previously surviced many motions of no confidence by opposition parties in the past. His party welcomed his decision to go. The President had yesterday announced in an interview that he was unwilling to resign from the post as he wasn’t given the reason by his party.
CHARGES AGAINST JACOB ZUMA
In 2005, then President Thabo Mbeki, dismissed Zuma as his deputy in the light of rape charges that Zuma was facing. Zuma was later acquitted of the charges. Although Zuma claimed earlier in the day that he had tried to stop others orchestrating Mbeki’s surprise recall in 2008, his once strongest supporter and now arch foe and leader of the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters party Julius Malema said Zuma was behind Mbeki’s removal so that he could take over as the President.
Zuma’s resignation has been met with jubilation across South Africa by business, civil society organisations and the citizenry, all of whom had united in their efforts to remove him from office. Zuma had ingratiated himself by arbitrarily dismissing effective ministers and bringing about a huge economic crisis as a result. He also stands accused of having been influenced by various people to appoint people to ministerial positions and as heads of parastatal bodies who would support state capture plans and corrupt activities to syphon of billions of rand of public money.