Jacob Zuma stepped down from his Presidency as he tendered his resignation. This was in heed to the orders of the African National Congress and thus his 9 years in power which were marked by scandals finally came to an end. His last address lasted he largely disagreed with the way the events had shaped up and the ANC had ordered his ouster after electing Cyril Ramaphosa as the new party head. Zuma categorically stated that “No life should be lost in my name. And also the ANC should not be divided in my name”.
As the pressure mounted on Zuma, Rand currency soared more than 1% high against the dollar during the day. The resignation materialised after a long and intense public pressure amidst serious corruption allegations.
Zuma in his outgoing speech in Union Buildings, mentioned, “Make no mistake, no leader should stay beyond the time the people they serve. No leader should seek an easy way out because they could face a life without the perks of political office.”
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is most likely to become the acting President. The new President should be elected within 30 days, although the Cabinet and Presidency will continue to exist.
The Turn of Events
The Constitutional Court of South Africa had passed the verdict that the Parliament had failed to prove Zuma responsible for the alleged misuse of public funds for upgradation of his rural home at Nkandla. Zuma was also charged with favouring an Indian Gupta Family in the state capture scandal. The family had considerable influence on Zuma and were also instrumental in decisions of public appointments. Despite the multiple allegations against him, Zuma has always claimed to be innocent.
Lately, the pressure on Zuma mounted along with Cyril Ramaphose who was due to court rulings was pressed to force President to step down. Zuma had previously also survived many no-confidence votes against him but the voting, it happened now, would have gone against him as he had lost many of his allies. ANC has a critical role to play as the party faces serious challenges and remains divided.