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《TAIPEI TIMES》 Zuma’s reluctant exit ushers in new S African president

2018-02-16 03:00

/ AFP, CAPE TOWN

South Africa yesterday prepared to welcome wealthy businessman Cyril Ramaphosa as its new president after scandal-tainted Jacob Zuma resigned under intense pressure from his own party.

Zuma announced he had stepped down in a late-night television address in which he took some digs at the African National Congress (ANC) party that had pledged to oust him via a parliamentary no-confidence vote.

In a 30-minute speech, Zuma said he had “come to the decision to resign as president of the republic with immediate effect.”

“I have only asked my party to articulate my transgressions and the reason for its immediate instruction that I vacate office,” he said.

Zuma, 75, had been in a divisive power struggle with Ramaphosa, his deputy president.

Ramaphosa, who won control of the ANC when he was elected as its head in December, was yesterday expected to be voted in by parliament as South Africa’s new president.

Benchmark South African stocks scored their biggest gains since June 2016 after news that a pro-business reformist would be taking the helm.

The FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index rose as much as 2.7 percent, while the rand reached its strongest level since February 2015, gaining 0.5 percent at 11.6570 for one US dollar in early trading.

Zuma, in an earlier TV interview on Wednesday, said he had received “very unfair” treatment from the party that he joined in 1959 and in which he had fought for decades against apartheid white-minority rule.

He said he was angered over “the manner in which the decision is being implemented... I don’t agree, as there is no evidence of if I have done anything wrong.”

The party’s national executive committee on Tuesday ordered Zuma’s recall from office, after a 13-hour meeting at a hotel outside Pretoria, but he at first refused.

ANC officials then said that if Zuma did not resign, the party’s lawmakers would vote him out in parliament.

However, after the resignation, ANC Deputy Secretary-General Jesse Duarte cautioned: “We are not celebrating.”

“We have had to recall a cadre of the movement that has served this organization for over 60 years [sic]; it’s not a small matter,” she added.

Zuma, who had no formal education, was jailed on Robben Island for 10 years alongside Nelson Mandela under apartheid and rose through the ranks of the ANC to take power in 2009.

However, his rule was dominated by graft scandals, economic slowdown and falling popularity for the celebrated liberation party.

Local media reported that Zuma had been pushing for a resignation deal that included his legal fees to fight multiple criminal charges, but he de博客來網路書店nied the allegations in his resignation speech.

新聞來源:博客來網路書局TAIPEI TIMES
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