President Jacob Zuma has resigned.
He addressed the nation from the Union Building late on Wednesday night.
Zuma first broke his silence on Wednesday afternoon after the ANC told him that he has to resign or face a motion of no confidence. Speaking in an exclusive interview with the SABC around midday, Zuma maintained that he has done nothing wrong.
He added that the call for him to resign was unfair and insisted he has not been defiant, but merely disagreed with the ANC decision. Zuma then said South Africa is being plunged into a crisis and that his ANC comrades might regret their decision.
Parliament scheduled a motion of no confidence against Zuma for Thursday afternoon, but after he announced his resignation this becomes unnecessary .
Here are some highlights from Zuma's speech:
I do take seriously and am grateful for the ANC... ensuring a non-racial SA, it elected me.— Jacob Zuma
It has been a great learning experience, a mammoth task, the performance which can never be done without difficulty or learning along the way.— Jacob Zuma
All my life I have served and will continue to serve the ANC in its pursuit of a National Democratic Revolution.— Jacob Zuma
If truth be told none of us are (the epitome of perfection). I did not agree to be president to exit with the perks and benefits of being president. I must accept that if my party and my compatriots decide I must vacate... I fear no motion of no confidence or impeachment for they are the lawful mechanisms for the people of this beautiful country to remove their president.— Jacob Zuma
Speaking in isiZulu, he said he did not join the ANC for positions, is not forcing matters and is not scared of stepping down.
It has been an honour that I will cherish as long as I live I have therefore come to the decision to resign with immediate effect, even though I disagree with the decision by the ANC leadership, he said.