South African President Jacob Zuma has announced his resignation in a TV address on Wednesday.
Zuma said he takes the ANC seriously and is grateful to the party that in the face of its revolutionary mission it deployed him at the pinnacle of its role in government.
He was however still defiant about how he had been forced out.
“I understand fully that while I serve at the pleasure of my party, the ANC, the door through which I came to serve the people of South Africa, the key is the legislative assembly.”
Zuma said if his comrades in the African National Congress (ANC) wanted to remove him, they should have done it constitutionally. He said he did not fear any motion of no confidence nor did he fear an impeachment.
“As we fight our own battles in the corridors of political power and sometimes serving the very interest of the oppressors of yesterday who joyfully celebrate as we lynch one another. We often forget the citizens on whose behave we create a better life.”
Zuma, whose reputation has been stained by years-long allegations of graft, made his address from the Union Buildings in Pretoria, the seat of the presidency.
The speech capped a dramatic day in which it was announced that South Africa’s parliament planned to hold a motion of no-confidence in Zuma on Thursday.
“We have now asked the chief whip to proceed with the motion of no confidence tomorrow in parliament… so that President Zuma is then removed,” ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile told reporters Wednesday.
He said parliament, where the ANC has a large majority, would then “proceed to elect (Cyril) Ramaphosa as president of the republic.”
“For us, as the ANC leadership, we can no longer wait beyond today,” Mashatile said.
“We don’t want to keep South Africa waiting. If President Zuma at some point will respond he will respond, but we can’t continue waiting. The decision has been taken and must be implemented.”
The power struggle over Zuma’s departure has put him at loggerheads with deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, his expected successor, who is the new head of the ANC.