South African parliament elects Cyril Ramaphosa as country's new President

Jacob Zuma resigned his position last night

South African parliament elects Cyril Ramaphosa as country's new President

South African Deputy President and African National Congress party President Cyril Ramaphosa, delivers a speech in Cape Town, South Africa, 11-02-2018. Image: AP/Press Association Images

Updated: 12:40

The South African parliament has elected Cyril Ramaphosa as the country's new president.

It comes after the former President Jacob Zuma resigned his position last night.

Mr Ramaphosa replaced Mr Zuma as leader of the governing African National Congress (ANC) party in December.

The party had warned Mr Zuma that if he refused to step down as President, it would table a motion of no confidence in him.

His resignation last night brought a leadership crisis in the country to an end and opened the way for Mr Ramaphosa to take office.

Corruption

Mr Zuma had faced a number of corruption scandals and before being replaced as ANC leader.

Yesterday, police raided the home of a business family linked to 75-year-old, describing it as a "crime scene."

The powerful and wealthy Gupta family are suspected of using their ties to the president to influence cabinet positions and land state contracts.

Service

South African President Jacob Zuma resigns in a televised address, 14-02-2018. Image:  Themba Hadebe/AP/Press Association Images

In a televised address to the nation yesterday, Mr Zuma paid tribute to his supporters:

"All my life I have served, and I will continue to serve the ANC in its pursuit of the national democratic revolution," he said.

"I've served the people of South Africa to the best of my ability. I am forever grateful that they trusted me with their highest office in the land. But when I accepted the deployment I understood and undertook to subject myself to the supreme law of the land - the constitution."

Resignation

After a lengthy speech, he confirmed: "I have 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 organisation, I have always been a disciplined member of the ANC."

He said that as he resigns, he will continue to serve the people of South Africa as well as the ANC.

Mr Zuma served as the fourth South African president since his election in 2009.

Reporting from Mick Staines and Stephen McNeice