Speaker of the National Assembly on Thursday confirmed that her office has received a letter from President Jacob Zuma informing her of his resignation as the President of the Republic of South Africa.
Zuma resigned during a live television address late on Wednesday night but still needed to formally inform the Speaker.
In a statement, the office of Speaker Baleka Mbete said: "The letter of the President will be officially published in the parliamentary Announcements Tablings and Committees (ATC) journal, for the attention of Members of Parliament. The resignation of the President is effective immediately."
The statement added: "The Speaker has been informed by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng of his availability to preside over the National Assembly’s election of the new President this afternoon, 15 February. This has necessitated that the election of the President, which was initially scheduled for Friday, 16 February 2018, be changed to today at 14.00. Effectively, this changes the agenda of today’s sitting of the National Assembly from considering a proposed Motion of No Confidence in the President, to that of electing a President.
"The Speaker thanks the President Zuma for his service to the people of South Africa in the last eight years and wishes him well."
Zuma had earlier this week been recalled by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) but had refused, leading to his party to support a vote of motion of no confidence which was scheduled for Thursday. Zuma, though, resigned at the 11th hour, paving the way for acting president Cyril Ramaphosa to be sworn in as new head of state on Thursday.
Ramaphosa, the recently elected ANC president, is expected to deliver the state of the nation address on Friday evening.
- African News Agency (ANA)