Jacob Zuma out: South African leader finally quits as president

Josh Martin
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Jacob Zuma finally resigned on Wednesday night (Source: Getty)

South African President Jacob Zuma has finally quit his post.

The scandal-ridden leader heeded a 48-hour deadline by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to bring an end to his nine years in power.

In a 30-minute farewell address to the nation, Zuma, 75, said he disagreed with the way the ANC had pushed him towards an early exit after the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as party president in December.

Late on Monday night the ANC told Zuma he had 48 hours to resign, or face being voted out by them.

In an apparent push for a smooth transition to the next leader – widely expected to be newly elected ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa – Zuma said he did not fear exiting office and “no life should be lost in my name”.

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During his nine-year reign Zuma survived many personal and professional controversies such fathering a child out of wedlock, comments about showering after sex to reduce the likelihood of HIV contraction, a “midnight political reshuffle” which caused markets to panic, as well as an expenses scandal for home renovations.

He is still fighting 783 counts of corruption over a 30bn rand (£1.8bn) arms deal in the late 1990s when he was deputy president.

ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu said earlier that Ramaphosa could be sworn in as South Africa's new head of state as early as tomorrow.

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