Former president Jacob Zuma has avoided a motion of no confidence in Parliament by resigning as head of state – although he still disagrees with the ANC’s decision to recall him.

“I do not fear exiting political office. However, I have only asked my party to articulate my transgressions and the reason for its immediate instruction that I vacate office,” he said in a late-night address to the nation.

Zuma is the second consecutive ANC president to resign as head of state, after former president Thabo Mbeki stepped down in 2008.

Zuma barely made the 48-hour deadline set by the ANC for him to resign, taking to the podium at the Union Buildings in Pretoria for the last time as head of state late on Wednesday night.

He started his address joking with journalists, who had camped outside the Union Building since Wednesday morning and greeted them with his traditional chuckle.

“Why do you look serious, you can’t even say good evening. You are tired? We are working. He, he, he,” Zuma chuckled.

It was a more diplomatic Zuma on stage compared to the angry and revengeful man who was interviewed by the SABC earlier in the day.

During the interview, he had rebuked the party’s top six, including party president Cyril Ramaphosa and described the decision to recall him as “baseless and without fact”. Zuma accused the party leaders of failing to give him reasons for why he should step down.

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President Zuma Resigns.

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