After weeks of uncertainty, the eve of Valentine’s day brought with it the announcement of President Jacob Zuma’s resignation as head of the South African Republic.
Jacob Zuma made the announcement late Wednesday evening at the Union Buildings.
His address, which had been scheduled to start at 11 pm, commenced closer to 11:30 pm. It was only just before 11 pm when Zuma finally said: “I have therefore come to the decision to resign as President of the Republic with immediate effect.”
Although the former head of state said he disagreed with the decision of the ANC’s leadership to remove him, Zuma reiterated that he was a “disciplined member of the ANC”.
The new president of South Africa is set to be elected this afternoon, with rumours that the election is most likely to take place at 2 pm ̶ the time set for the motion of no confidence that will no longer be necessary.
Reports have said Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng will officiate in the election of the new President of South Africa.
Although Cyril Ramaphosa is the most likely candidate to be voted in, the DA chief whip John Steenhuysen said he thought the ANC was “duty-bound" to put forward an alternative candidate to the ANC's expected nominee.
The decision by Zuma to step down has been welcomed by a number of civil rights movements and foundations.
The Right2Know Campaign welcomed the decision while the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation said his resignation was long overdue.
“We’re also very happy that finally one of the last wishes of Ahmed Kathrada has come to fruition, although at great cost to the country.
“But we think that this is only the first step in the long process of cleaning up the rot that set in under president Zuma," the foundation’s Neeshan Balton added.