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Zuma Bows To Pressure, Quits As South African President

Zuma Bows To Pressure, Quits As South African President

South African President Jacob Zuma, who survived a string of corruption scandals and harsh court judgments during his almost nine-year presidency, has quit finally after intense pressure from the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

Zuma's nine-year presidency came to an end on Wednesday, when the 75-year-old announced that he would heed an ANC order and stand down ahead of a scheduled no-confidence vote against him in parliament.

The party had said parliament would hold a no-confidence vote against Zuma on Thursday, if he did not resign immediately.

His resignation ends an unprecedented political crisis for the ANC after a weeks-long power struggle with Mr Ramaphosa, deputy president and the party's leader after defeating Mr Zuma's preferred successor past year.

His resignation ended an extraordinary day in the South African politics, which had begun with a dawn raid on the controversial Gupta family - a clan of Indian-born businessmen - at the centre of the graft allegations levelled against Zuma.

In his speech, Zuma emphasised that "no leader should seek an easy way out simply because they could not face life at the end of their term without the perks that come with their political office".

" I have served South Africa to the best of my ability. I have therefore chose to resign as president of the republic with immediate effect", he said. The ANC should never been divided in my name.

Ramaphosa was named President ad interim to substitute Jacob Zuma, hours after the head of state resigned last night.

Jacob Zuma finally buckled to pressure and resign as the President of South Africa on Wednesday, China's Xinhua news agency reported.

Many party leaders had hoped that the transfer of presidential power would be dignified and graceful, with Zuma voluntarily resigning the presidency after Ramaphosa defeated his preferred candidate (his former wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma) in the race for party leadership.

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The Parliament will today elect Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa into office as President.

Mr Zuma and the Guptas have always strongly denied any wrongdoing.

After multiple corruption scandals, economic slowdown and falling popularity among voters, the ANC had threatened to oust Zuma via a no-confidence vote in parliament. "This is truly a humbling experience", Ramaphosa said when addressing the house after the election.

Before Mr Ramaphosa can even begin to tackle numerous structural problems that hobble growth, such as a poorly educated workforce and inflexible labour markets, he will have to clean up a government that has been marred by corruption at all levels.

"Defiant in defeat" and "Going, Going, Gone" were among the newspaper headlines that captured Zuma's reluctance to leave.

The foundation set up to guard the legacy of the late anti-apartheid icon and first black South African president Nelson Mandela said Zuma's departure brought to an end "a painful era for the country".

Police raided the Gupta home in an affluent Johannesburg neighborhood early Wednesday.

As president, Ramaphosa will have to balance the need to reassure foreign investors and local businesses against the intense popular demand for dramatic measures to address South Africa's deep problems.

The inauguration took place after the army deployed its vehicles to the capital of Harare and confined then-President Robert Mugabe to his house.


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