South African President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma has resigned following sustained pressure by his party leaders.
His decision comes as a surprise considering several networks reporting the sudden turnaround after Zuma had insisted he will not yield to pressures to resign if he is not furnished with reasons for the resignation calls.
In a televised address to the rest of the country, Jacob Zuma stated in clear terms:
“I indicated to the top six [of the ANC] that what they have raised is not the first time. They have raised it in the NEC itself twice and nobody has ever been able to tell me what the issue is. The NEC themselves said that I must resign‚ and I find that very strange that I should do so because this is not the first time that they’ve said this‚” Zuma told the SABC’s Mzwandile Mbeje.
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“It’s not a new matter. I need to be furnished with what is it that I have done and unfortunately nobody has been able to tell me what is it that I’ve done. There are processes in the ANC that need to be followed if I have been doing something wrong‚” he said.
“I resign as president of the republic with immediate effect….even though I disagree with the decision of the leadership of my organisation … I have always been a disciplined member of the organisation,” Zuma said.
“I’ve served the people of South Africa to the best of my ability. I am forever grateful that they trusted me with their highest office in the land, but when I accepted the deployment I understood and undertook to subject myself to the supreme law of the land, the Constitution,” he said.
“As I leave, I will continue to serve the people of South Africa as well as the ANC,” he said.