- Title: SOUTH AFRICA: South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki announces his resignation
- Date: 22nd September 2008
- Summary: (BN11) PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA, (SEPTEMBER 21, 2008), (REUTERS) PAN: MINISTERS SEATED AT EMBERGENCY CABINET MEETING BEING CHAIRED BY MBEKI MBEKI READING A NOTE MINISTERS/MBEKI AND DEPUTY PRESIDENT MLAMBO-NGCUKA SEATED
- Embargoed: 7th October 2008 13:00
- Location: South Africa
- Country: South Africa
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA4T4Y59OZQG7B7IMKY1FV7I4Z
- Story Text: South African President Thabo Mbeki tells the nation that he has tendered his resignation, plunging the country into political uncertainty.
South African President Thabo Mbeki told the nation on Sunday (September 21) that he has tendered his resignation, plunging the country into political uncertainty.
The resignation will be effective from a date to be decided by South Africa's parliament, Mbeki said in a speech on national broadcaster SABC.
Mbeki, who has followed a pro-business line since taking over from Nelson Mandela as president in 1999, agreed on Saturday to accept the ruling ANC's request that he resign before the end of his term next year.
Supporters of Mbeki may split from the ANC and contest elections as a breakaway party in 2009, South Africa's Sunday Times said.
The move threatens to shatter the foundations of the country's post-apartheid political landscape, which has been dominated by the ANC since the end of white minority rule in 1994.
Mbeki's downfall came about a week after a judge suggested there was high-level political meddling in the graft case of Mbeki rival and ANC leader Jacob Zuma, the frontrunner to win the next presidential election.
Although Mbeki's willingness to give up the reins without a fight suggests an orderly transition of power, a number of ministers have threatened to resign rather than serve in a Zuma-controlled government.
The Sunday Times said Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota, Deputy Defence Minister Mluleki George and other Mbeki loyalists are planning to start a new party and organisers will meet this week to discuss the move.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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