South African President, Jacob Zuma on Wednesday night announced his immediate resignation after the ruling African National Congress, ANC, threatened to eject him from office via a parliamentary vote of no confidence.
His resignation came a day after he was rejected by his party, the ANC on corruption allegations and his connection to the Gupta family in South Africa.
The party also gave Zuma until Wednesday night to resign or a vote of no confidence motion would be brought against him on Thursday to remove him from office.
In a 30-minute national television address, the scandal-ridden president said he had “come to the decision to resign as president of the republic with immediate effect”.
“I have served the people of South Africa to the best of my ability. I am forever grateful that they trusted me with the highest office in the land,” he said.
Zuma, whose reputation has been stained by years-long allegations of graft, had been instructed to step down by the African National Congress, ANC, party.
He complained about the process, saying: “I don’t fear exiting political office however I have only asked my party to articulate my transgressions and the reason for its instructions that I vacate office.”
Zuma has been at loggerheads with Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, his expected successor as president and the new head of the ANC.
The ousted president is likely to be succeeded by Ramaphosa, who has already emerged the new leader of the ANC. Parliament could elect Ramaphosa as president as early as Thursday or Friday.
Zuma had earlier refused to stand down during an interview with SABC even after police raided the homes of his associates, the Gupta family, in Johannesburg, the country’s commercial capital.
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.