South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma embroiled in various corruption allegations resigned on Wednesday with immediate effect.
In a televised statement Zuma says he was quitting with immediate effect but adds that he disagreed with his party’s decision.
The African National Congress (ANC) had told him to resign or face a vote of no confidence in parliament.
The 75-year-old has been facing calls to give way to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, the ANC’s new leader.
Mr Zuma, who has been in power since 2009, faces numerous allegations of corruption.
Earlier on Wednesday, police swooped on the Johannesburg home of the powerful and wealthy Gupta family with whom Mr Zuma has close ties.
He began his speech by laughing and joking with members of the press, asking them why they looked so serious.
After paying tribute to those whom he had worked with over the years, Mr Zuma says that violence and division within the ANC had influenced his decision to step down.
“No life should be lost in my name and also the ANC should never be divided in my name.
”I have therefore come to the decision to resign as president of the republic with immediate effect,” he says.
“Even though I disagree with the decision of the leadership of my organisation, I have always been a disciplined member of the ANC.
“As I leave I will continue to serve the people of South Africa as well as the ANC, the organisation I have served… all of my life.”
The ANC (African National Congress) issued a statement saying Mr Zuma’s resignation provided “certainty to the people of South Africa”.
Deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte told reporters: “President Zuma remains a principled member of the ANC.
The ANC wants to salute the outstanding contribution he has made.”
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