South Africa’s president announces resignation

Last Updated Feb 14, 2018 4:26 PM EST

JOHANNESBURG — South African President Jacob Zuma said he has resigned “with immediate effect.” The scandal-tainted leader made the announcement late Wednesday in a televised address to the nation. 

Zuma, who is 75, said he has resigned despite his disagreement with the instruction of the ruling African National Congress party to leave office immediately. The ANC had been prepared to pursue a vote of no confidence in parliament on Thursday. 

“I have served the people of South Africa to the best of my ability,” he said, AFP reported. “I am forever grateful that they trusted me with the highest office in the land.”

Zuma’s tenure has been marred by years of corruption scandals. He has been in a vulnerable position since December, when his rival Cyril Ramaphosa was chosen to lead the party, the BBC reports

South Africa’s ruling party welcomed Zuma’s resignation after months of growing public anger over multiple corruption allegations. The African National Congress expressed gratitude for Zuma’s “loyal service” and encouraged party members to support Ramaphosa, who is now the country’s acting president.

Ramaphosa is expected to be elected swiftly in a parliament vote and sworn in. 

Zuma had been in power since 2009.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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