Jacob Zuma has resigned as President of South Africa after more than 9 years in office. His presidency had been mired in corruption. As newly elected President Cyril Ramaphosa takes office, a divided South African nation awaits what’s next.
Jacob Zuma Resigns as President of South Africa
South African President Jacob Zuma has finally resigned after staying in office for more than 9 years – a tenure that has been mired in scandals. Jacob Zuma is known to be an anti-apartheid hero who was deemed a political survivor. However, his term came to an end last week after numerous calls from the ruling party African National Congress (ANC) to have him step down.
When Jacob Zuma took office in 2009, immediately after former President Thabo Mbeki and at a time when the South African nation was divided, he managed to rally different factions together with an aim of making the nation work as one.
Jacob Zuma’s Presidency Mired with Scandal
South Africa has been on the forefront as one of the most developed African countries, showing the world what true democracy is all about. However, Jacob Zuma’s tenure has been rocked by a lot of corruption cases that involve him, his family and his close friends.
Jacob Zuma becomes the second president to be removed from office in a very peaceful political process that led to Cyril Ramaphosa taking the helm of the ANC.
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It is ironic that in Africa, where most leaders rule by force and not thinking about the will of the people, South Africa is the only country that has never had a president rule for more than two terms, with each term being 5 years. The same predicament happened to Thabo Mbeki, who was also forced out in 2008 with less than a year left in office.
South Africa Seeks Strong Leadership
Jacob Zuma has resigned at a time when the people of South Africa have lost trust in him as their national leader. He was also accused in the past of colluding with the rich and wealthy Gupta family, which received many tenders and contracts from the government.
It is due to this backdrop that the ANC sought stronger leadership, someone who would steer and unite the country to greater heights. Jacob Zuma having failed, according to analysts, opened up a chance for ANC to look for a new leader, thereby settling for Cyril Ramaphosa.
Cyril Ramaphosa Takes the Helm
The ANC had its elections last year and unanimously chose Cyril Ramaphosa as their new party head to replace Jacob Zuma, who had been accused of corruption.
Even though Cyril Ramaphosa was named as the person to take over the mantle, Jacob Zuma still preferred his ex-wife to lead the party – something that the delegates refused.
The question that is hot in the minds of many people is whether Cyril Ramaphosa will clean up the mess left by Jacob Zuma. The first thing that he must sort out is the issue of unemployment and corruption. Similarly to Jacob Zuma, he will be entering into office with a divided ANC.
The world will have to wait and see how things develop in the next few months as Cyril Ramaphosa takes office.