Jacob Zuma announced he had decided to step down as president of South Africa “with immediate effect” late Wednesday, following mounting pressure from the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party.
Zuma, 75, served as the fourth president of South Africa from 2009 until his resignation.
Just like his predecessor Thabo Mbeki, he was not allowed to see out his term.
Zuma has been at loggerheads with deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, his expected successor as president and the new head of the ANC.
Parliament could elect Ramaphosa as president as early as Thursday or Friday..
Zuma’s announcement came after the ANC threatened to eject him from office via a parliamentary vote of no confidence.
Scandal-tainted Zuma said in a 30-minute national television address that he had “come to the decision to resign as president of the republic with immediate effect”.
“I have served the people of South Africa to the best of my ability. I am forever grateful that they trusted me with the highest office in the land,” he said.
Zuma, whose reputation has been stained by years-long allegations of graft, had been instructed to step down by the ANC party.
He complained about the process, saying: “I don’t fear exiting political office. However, I have only asked my party to articulate my transgressions and the reason for its instructions that I vacate office.”