President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, who survived a string of corruption scandals and court judgments during his nearly nine-year presidency, has agreed last night to step down.
In an address to the nation Wednesday night, Mr. Zuma said he was resigning even though he disagreed with the party’s decision ordering him to do so.
“I have therefore come to the decision to resign as president of the Republic with immediate effect, even though I disagree with the decision of the leadership of my organization,” he said at the end of a lengthy address on television. “I have always been a disciplined member of the A.N.C.”
It was a humiliating end for Mr. Zuma, a charismatic anti-partheid hero who was imprisoned on Robben Island with Nelson Mandela and was once the A.N.C.’s intelligence chief.
Cyril Ramaphosa, the deputy president whose election as A.N.C. leader in December set off a power struggle with Mr. Zuma, immediately became acting president.