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S. African President Zuma resigns "to avoid dividing the party"


File photo taken on Dec. 16, 2017 shows that South African President Jacob Zuma addresses the conference in Johannesburg, South Africa. South African President Jacob Zuma declared his resignation when addressing the nation on Feb. 14, 2018. (Xinhua/David Naicker)

JOHANNESBURG, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- South African President Jacob Zuma announced on Wednesday evening that he just resigned as president because he did not want to divide the ruling party.

"The ANC (African National Congress) should never be divided in my name. I have therefore come to the decision to resign," Zuma said in a 30-minute address to the nation at Union building here in Johannesburg.

Seventy-five-year-old Zuma told the media that even though he did not agree with the ANC, he had decided to resign. He said he believed he should have been removed through constitutional means.

"I must accept that if my party and my compatriots wish that I be removed from office, they must exercise that right and do so in the matter prescribed in the manner of the constitution," he said.

"I have therefore come to the decision to resign as president with immediate effect. Even though I disagree with the decision of the leadership of my organization. I have always been a disciplined member of the ANC," he added.

He said that his decision followed his recalling by the ANC's national executive committee on Tuesday and weeks of speculation about his future as president.

Zuma said while working as president, it had been a great learning experience and a mammoth task.

The ANC, which replaced Zuma as party leader in December with Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, ordered him to step down as president on Tuesday over curruption allegations against Zuma.

Ramaphosa is now acting president, and will be sworn in as president either Thursday or Friday.

[ Editor: meng ]