President Jacob Zuma told millions of South Africans on national television on Wednesday night, he resigned with immediate effect as head of state.
His resignation follows a mounting pressure from the African National Congress (ANC), civil society and opposition parties to step down.
“No life should be lost in my name and ANC should not be divided, not in my name. I have therefore come to resign as president of the Republic of South Africa with immediate effect,” said Zuma.
Zuma resigned in the 11th hour after weeks of negotiations with the ANC National Executive Council asking him to step down.
NEC has given him a deadline to announce his resignation on Wednesday, or else face a removal through parliamentary processes.
On Wednesday, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete announced that joint Programming Committee held an earnest meeting, which has consented to hold a debate on the Motion of No Confidence on President Zuma on Thursday.
Speaker said the Joint Programming Committee would likewise meet again on Thursday morning to talk about the coordination of the swearing in of the new President on Friday morning before conveying the State of the Nation Address.
The Motion of No Confidence was expected to occur at 14:00 on Thursday if President Zuma refused to resign.
The Leader of the Democratic Alliance Mmusi Maimane said he welcomed Jacob Zuma’s long overdue resignation as President.
“We cheer with every South African today as the long, excruciating decade of Zuma’s administration closes,” said Maimane.
Maimane said even in his acquiescence discourse he declined to assume any liability for his activities for devastating the nation.
“He should now confront the 783 criminal accusations as yet anticipating him under the steady gaze of the Courts. There can be no absolution or resistance for Zuma,” said Maimane.
There were over half a dozen Motions of No Confidence across almost 1000 days where the ANC had opportunities to rid South Africa of Jacob Zuma and his toxic corrupt web.
“He must now face the 783 criminal charges still awaiting him before the Courts. There can be no amnesty or immunity for Zuma,” said Maimane.
“Now that the ANC has done what they should have done almost three years ago, we expect the 783 charges awaiting him to be prosecuted and for justice to prevail,” said Maimane,
Zuma built a deep system of corruption that has penetrated every part of the government and the criminal prosecution system.
These criminal networks run deep, and will not be easy to uproot. It will take more than talk of a New Deal.
“After getting rid of Zuma, the ANC must show serious intent to rid itself of other corrupt individuals, like David Mabuza, Ace Magashule, Pule Mabe and many others,” added Maimane.