President Zuma has officially resigned as the President of South Africa.

Jacob Zuma announced his resignation in a live television broadcast from Luthuli House on Wednesday night. 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 organisation, I have always been a disciplined member of the ANC.”

Zuma also stated that he will continue to support the ANC and will work on the projects he believes in.

“I will dedicate all my energy to working towards the attainment of the policies of our organisation, in particular, the radical economic transformation agenda.”

His decision to resign follows weeks of speculation and concern about his future as South Africa’s president.

He also stated that he did not agree to resign in order to exit with the perks and benefits of being president.

“No leader should stay beyond the time determined by the people they serve; no leader should seek an easy way out.”

Despite the rumours, Zuma said that he does not fear leaving his seat as president and that he simply asked his party to list his transgressions and to clearly state its reasons for instructing him to leave office.

Now that he has resigned, what comes next? This seems to be the new question makings its rounds. It is always a confusing time when a president resigns.

As he has resigned, President Zuma will retain many of his presidential benefits, like the salary of R2.98 million and he reserves the right to retain his security services, which are tax funded! Had he been thrown out of office, Zuma would have had to forfeit these benefits.

Now that Zuma has left office, the ANC can finally set a date for the State of Nation Address (SONA), which had been postponed last week.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to read out the budget speech, which is scheduled for Feb. 21.

Contrary to what might have happened had Zuma lost a no-confidence ballot, there will be no interim president. Cyril Ramaphosa will immediately take Zuma’s place.

What will happen to Jacob Zuma now?

It’s clear that he took the easy way out. By resigning, he retained a lot of his presidential benefits. There is also the matter of Zuma’s preconditions. There is still uncertainty surrounding what Zuma asked for in exchange for stepping down, but it is clear that he is not walking away empty handed.

The question of what will happen regarding his state capture inquiry still hangs in the air, but it is doubtful that Zuma will be handed immunity.

This is new territory for South Africa, and we can only hope that the future is brighter. One thing we can all be happy about is that we can finally say goodbye to the plague-like Guptas.

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