Africa News

South African president Jacob Zuma resigns after nine years in office

Jacob Zuma. Image: Flickr/Linh Do

South African president Jacob Zuma announced on Wednesday February 12 that he would be resigning “with immediate effect” in a rare news conference. His ruling African National Congress party voted to urge him to resign on Monday. Zuma assumed office on May 9 2009; he served as Deputy President for six years before from 1999 to 2005.

The Speaker of the country’s National Assembly announced on Thursday that a letter of resignation had been received from Zuma, with immediate effect. The body is scheduled to vote for a new president at 2 p.m. local time on Thursday February 15.

The African National Congress party voted to pass an ultimatum on Monday to force Zuma to choose to either resign or be dismissed from office. Zuma has been accused of corruption during his term as president, including using state money for ‘lavish’ personal home improvements. His initial 2009 presidential bid included an allegation of raping a family friend in 2006, which he had been acquitted of.

A corruption case against Zuma for money laundering and racketeering originating from a 1999 arms deal was dropped weeks before his election in 2009, but the Supreme Court of South Africa voted in 2017 that 18 counts of corruption should be reinstated. Zuma has denied the charges.

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