South African president resigns after his party pressured him to step down amid corruption allegations

Wednesday , February 14, 2018 - 2:30 PM

Krista Mahr

Special To The Washington Post.

JOHANNESBERG - South African President Jacob Zuma resigned on Wednesday, bringing to a close a nine-year tenure that has been dogged by corruption scandals and seen a steady decline in the popularity of the African National Congress, Nelson Mandela’s historic liberation movement.

His resignation came after a week of intense pressure, culminating in leaders of the ruling ANC ordering him to step down on Tuesday. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who replaced Zuma as ANC leader in December, is expected to become acting president, according to South African law.

Zuma is a veteran of the fight against apartheid and was imprisoned on Robben Island at the same time as Mandela. To his critics, Zuma’s early departure - his term as head of state was not up until next year - marks the end of a frustrating era in which the president’s name became nearly synonymous with the use of the public office for personal gain.

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