South Africa's President Zuma Resigns Amid Multiple Scandals

Calls to step down came from his own party
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2018 5:13 PM CST
South African President Jacob Zuma gestures after addressing the the nation and press at the government's Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018.   (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

(Newser) – After eight scandal-plagued years, Jacob Zuma resigned as president of South Africa on Wednesday, CNN reports. The 75-year-old Zuma was ordered to repay millions last year after using public money to fix up his home. He also faces nearly 800 allegations of corruption going back decades. His party, the African National Congress, ordered him to step down as president on Tuesday. It had already removed him as party leader in December. According to the Guardian, Zuma refused to resign until the ANC threatened to support an opposition party's no-confidence motion in a vote scheduled for Thursday. "No life should be lost in my name and also the ANC should never be divided in my name," Zuma said in address Wednesday, while disagreeing with the party's decision.

“This decision provides certainty to the people of South Africa at a time when economic and social challenges to the country require an urgent and resolute response,” Reuters quotes the ANC’s deputy secretary general, Jessie Duarte, as saying. The former anti-apartheid activist Zuma had led the ANC since 2007. He became the leader of South Africa in 2009 and earned the nickname the "Teflon president" for his ability to survive opposition parties' attempts to oust him. In a statement Wednesday, the ANC thanked Zuma for "over 60 years of loyal service." Cyril Ramaphosa, the ANC's head negotiator during the end of apartheid, could be sworn in as president as early as Friday. He had already replaced Zuma as the head of the ANC.
(Read more Jacob Zuma stories.)

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