South Africa’s ruling African National Congress on Tuesday ordered President Jacob Zuma to resign, calling an end to his scandal-hit rule and paving the way for Cyril Ramaphosa, the party leader, to take power.
The party said Mr Zuma, who has resisted days of pressure to step aside, asked to remain in office for between three and six months, but ANC leaders rebuffed him due to the urgency of the need to restore the integrity of public institutions. Ace Magashule, ANC secretary-general, suggested the party would now consider removing Mr Zuma through a no-confidence vote in parliament, a decision that risks exacerbating the power struggle in the ANC. “All necessary parliamentary processes that arise from this decision will now ensue,” he said, adding that the ANC had not yet officially proposed a no-confidence motion.
Mr Magashule said Mr Zuma was being given “time and space to respond. We haven’t given him a deadline.” The national executive committee took the decision to sack Mr Zuma after a marathon 13-hour meeting into the early hours of Tuesday that capped weeks of intrigue and political paralysis as the president defied pressure from party leaders to stand aside. His nine years in office have been plagued by corruption scandals, a stagnating economy and sliding support for the ANC.