South Africa readied to welcome wealthy former businessman Cyril Ramaphosa as its new president Thursday after scandal-tainted Jacob Zuma resigned under intense pressure from his own party.
Zuma announced he had stepped down in a late-night television address in which he took some digs at the African National Congress (ANC) party that had threatened to oust him via a parliament no-confidence vote.
In a 30-minute speech, Zuma said he had “come to the decision to resign as president of the republic with immediate effect”.
Zuma, 75, has been in a lengthy power struggle with Ramaphosa, the deputy president.
Ramaphosa, who won control of the ANC when he was elected as its head in December, is likely to be voted in by parliament as South Africa’s new president on Thursday or Friday.
Zuma, in an earlier TV interview on Wednesday, said he had received “very unfair” treatment from the party that he joined in 1959 and in which he had fought for decades against apartheid white-minority rule.
He said he was angered over “the manner in which the decision is being implemented… I don’t agree, as there is no evidence of if I have done anything wrong.”
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