JOHANNESBURG, South Africa. – Jacob Zuma announced his resignation as President of South Africa last Wednesday, after several days of constant pressure from his African National Congress Party, which issued an ultimatum for his departure, local media reported.
For the ANC, who chose a new leader at the end of 2017, veteran Cyril Ramaphosa, Zuma had become an obstacle to the country’s advancement and progress, also threatened by water shortages.
“I have made the decision to resign as President of the Republic with immediate effects,” the representative said in a public discourse.
Although he expressed before his disagreement with the decision of the 249 members of the ANC who supported the motion against him, in order to relinquish his position, Zuma noted he has always been “a disciplined member” of the party, whose internal rules oblige all his members to respect the organization´s decisions, including the elected officials.
“The ANC should never be divided in my name,” he stressed, in a call to non-violence after his departure.
In spite of the compliance, Zuma devoted most of his intervention to arguing that the party did not follow the appropriate channels because it is the people, through its representatives —the members of Parliament— which should be responsible for defining the departure of their leaders.
In the absence of Zuma, Ramaphosa, a veteran of business experience, is now the leader called to exercise the presidency, as Paul Mashatile, ANC’s general treasurer confirmed yesterday.
After the announcement of resignation, the deputy Secretary General of the ANC, Jessie Duarte, said this is a “painful” time and the decision to revoke the President was “difficult”.
The official added, “We are not celebrating Zuma’s resignation, someone who has served the country for nine years.”
Although Ramaphosa remained less linked to policy than to economy for some years, he returned to the public light in his country as a hope, in a first place for his party, the African National Congress (ANC), but primarily for the South African people, who found a plausible fate under the leadership of Nelson Mandela.
Ramaphosa reinserted himself into South African political life in 2012 at the call of President Jacob Zuma — whom he now replaces as the ANC’s chief leader. Two years after his return he reached the Vice-Presidency of the ANC and that of South Africa.