The embattled president of the Republic of South Africa – Jacob Zuma has resigned. His announcement came after his party – the ANC threatened to move a “vote of no confidence” motion against him in parliament if he doesn’t accede as they have apparently lost their belief in his ability to govern the affairs of the Southern African country.
In a televised broadcast watched all over the nation and beyond, Jacob Zuma stated that he was resigning from his position “with immediate effect”. He also said that while he is a disciplined member of his party and will accede to their wishes after intense pressure by same, he doesn’t agree with his party’s decision.
In recent times, the embattled president who had been in power since 2009 had faced waves of corruption charges and this has led to calls by the ANC for Zuma to cede power to his deputy – Cyril Ramaphosa, who incidentally doubles as the new ANC leader.
Jacob Zuma: Resignations Speech
For an atmosphere that charged, Zuma began his speech by laughing and joking with members of the press, asking their reasons for looking so serious.
He then continued by paying tribute to everyone he had worked with over the years, categorically stating that left to him, he wouldn’t have stepped down but that due to the violence and division within the ANC, he thought it best to step down and keep preserve the sanctity of the party’s ideals.
“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 said.
“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.”
After The Resignation
Jacob Zuma ruled for two-thirds of the time after the end of apartheid in South Africa. He fought off waves after wave of corruption allegations but he had to bow to pressure from within. It is interesting to note that most of his attackers are members f the same party and had fought with him during the apartheid era when he was in the military wing of the ANC.
The ceding of power to Cyril Ramaphosa is the beginning of a new era and there is a sense of renewed hope that this will begin a period of certainty for South Africa (according to the ANC).
He is the deputy president and the current leader of the ANC therefore, he is likely to step in. The chain of events that led up to Jacob Zuma’s resignation included the announcement by the ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu that a vote of no confidence motion will be passed on Thursday against Jacob Zuma and Cyril Ramahosa sworn in soon after that.
Some quarters believe though, that the deputy president may not want to take up the position but get his own mandate in 2019 when fresh elections will hold. He is the overwhelming favourite to be president and may prefer to wait for that. Jacob Zuma had also been barred from contesting in that election as he had spent two terms in office meaning he isn’t eligible to contest.
Zuma had definitely seen the handwriting on the wall and made a smart move by leaving before he was disgraced out of office.
Not too long ago another Southern African President, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe stepped down as President. Is this a trend?
An era ends and a new one begins.
Image Credit: Wikimedia
Video Credit: BBC