- Jacob Zuma resigned as President late on Valentine's Day
- In his speech, Zuma said he is forever indebted to the ANC, and made it clear that he took office on request of the party
- He thanked the ANC and the country for allowing him to serve as President of the Republic
Many South Africans believe that the greatest Valentine's Day gift was Jacob Zuma's resignation, which came late on Wednesday evening.
Zuma’s speech began typically with him joking with the members of press, asking why they looked so serious. He then addressed the media:
"I address you after weeks of speculation about my future as President of the Republic of South Africa. In particular I make reference to the much publicised and awaited decision of the African National Congress, issued on the 13 February 2018.
"It is now public knowledge that the National Executive Committee of the ANC resolved to recall me as the President of the Republic. I have also learned that before I respond to the initial decision, a new decision has been made by the ANC – with the fact that I have now been compelled to resign by way of a motion of no confidence set down for tomorrow, 15 February 2018.
"The ANC is indeed the party on whose nomination I became a candidate for the president of the Republic of South Africa after its victory of the national election of 2014. It was on the ANC’s nomination that I was later elected by the majority in the National Assembly as the President of the Republic."
He went on to say that he respects each member and leader of the ANC, and its fight against apartheid.
Briefly.co.za gathered that he wanted to ensure that his removal from office by the ANC was justified.
In his speech, Zuma stated that he did not fear any motions of no confidence or impeachment, as they were the constitutional mechanisms by which a president could be removed.
"I fear no motion of no confidence, or impeachment, for they are the lawful mechanisms for the people of this beautiful country to remove their president. I have served the people of South Africa to the best of my ability. I am forever grateful that they trusted me with their highest office in the land."
Zuma went on to thank people involved with him during his term as President, as well as the citizens of South Africa for allowing him the privilege of serving the country since 2009.
He made mention of the violence that erupted over his position as president, and made sure to state that the ANC should never be divided in his name.
"I have therefore come to the decision to resign as the President of the Republic with immediate effect… even though I disagree with the decision of the leadership of my organisation, I have always been a disciplined member of the ANC.
"As I leave – I will continue to serve the people of South Africa as well as the ANC, the organisation… I have served all of my life in it.
"I will dedicate all my energy to work towards the attainment of the policies of our organisation, in particular radical economic transformation agenda.
"Countrymen, ladies and gentlemen I thank you very much for your attention. Ngiyabonga. Baie dankie."
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