By Azania post Reporter
The African National Congress president Cyril Ramaphosa will be sworn in as head of state on Thursday, after the resignation of South African President Jacob Zuma late Wednesday.
His first duty in office will be to finalize the State of the Nation Address that has to be delivered on Friday night, a speech that needs to give South Africans hope – for a better future, economic growth and severe anti-corruption measures.
Ramaphosa is now acting president
After Jacob Zuma’s resignation as president on Wednesday night, Cyril Ramaphosa automatically became acting president of the republic.
According to Section 90 of the Constitution, when there is a vacancy in the office of president, which there is after Zuma's resignation, the first person in line to act as president is the deputy president.
By resigning as president, Jacob Zuma has been spared from yet another vote of no confidence in Parliament, the ANC said on Thursday night.
"It has been going on for almost three to four years and we believe that we do need to give this comrade respect and also spare him the humiliation of the ongoing votes of no confidence that come to Parliament," ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte said.
Speaking shortly after the resignation, Duarte welcomed the move and said Zuma was well within his rights to ask the party for the reasons that led to him being recalled.
The Democratic Alliance says it is "rejoicing" at the news that Jacob Zuma has resigned as president, while the United Democratic Movement says "good riddance".
Zuma announced on Wednesday evening that, although he does not agree with his decision, he will resign as president of the republic effective immediately.
"We rejoice with all South Africans today as the long, painful decade of Zuma's presidency finally comes to an end," DA leader Mmusi Maimane said in a statement late on Wednesday, after the announcement.
President Jacob Zuma - in key dates
Key dates for President Jacob Zuma, who resigned on Wednesday after the African National Congress threatened to eject him from office via a parliamentary vote of no confidence.
- April 12, 1942: Zuma is born in rural Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal province. He grows up without formal schooling.
- 1963: A member of the armed wing of the ANC, he is convicted of trying to overthrow the apartheid government and serves 10 years on the Robben Island prison alongside Nelson Mandela.
- 1973: Freed, he sets up underground ANC networks and then is the group's chief of intelligence from Zambia.
- 1990: After 15 years mostly spent in exile, he returns to SA when the ANC is unbanned. He is key in talks that lead to a national unity government after the first all-race elections, in 1994, won by the ANC.