Jacob Zuma, who has been South Africa’s President since 2009, resigned on Wednesday, after his own party, the African National Congress told him to go in a vote of no confidence. Zuma has faced allegations of widespread corruption since before he took office.
Zuma faced many corruption probes during his tenure. For instance, in 2016, South Africa’s Supreme Court ruled that Zuma had used government money to upgrade his personal home, including the construction of a new pool, visitors’ center, amphitheater, cattle corral, and houses for his relatives. That case had Zuma’s representatives arguing that the pool was a matter of national security, and would double as a water reservoir in case of fire. The property already had a larger reservoir. Zuma eventually paid back $500k of the almost $13m worth of upgrades to the home.
Zuma has also been under constant investigation for his relationships with the extremely wealthy Gupta family, and he has been accused of passing laws in the Guptas’ interests. On Wednesday, the Gupta family compound was raided by police who are now calling it a “crime scene.”
Zuma, who had about a year left in his second term, remained defiant in his resignation speech, and in an aptly timed Freudian slip stated “I have only asked my party to articulate my transactions…transgressions … and the reason for its immediate instruction that I vacate office.” Zuma will be replaced by his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, who was named to the position last year over Zuma’s ex-wife. Elections are expected to happed in 2019 as previously planned.
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