Pretoria: President Jacob Zuma announced his resignation with immediate effect on Wednesday night.
In a 30-minute televised address from the Union Buildings in Pretoria, 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.
“I have therefore come to the decision to resign as president of the republic with immediate effect,” Zuma said.
“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.
“No life should be lost in my name. And also the ANC should not be divided in my name.”
Earlier in his speech, Zuma effectively accused the ANC of violating his rights by recalling him without telling him what he had done wrong.
“I don’t fear exiting political office, however I have only asked my party to articulate my transgressions and the reason for its immediate instruction that I vacate office,” he said.
“I’m not clinging to power, I just wanted to the respect for the rule of law and my rights,” he said.
On Wednesday the ANC announced that their MPs would vote with opposition parties in support of a motion of no confidence against Zuma and that the Speaker of Parliament had agreed to move the motion, which was originally scheduled to be debated next week, forward to Thursday.