South African President Jacob Zuma has resigned from his post with immediate effect.
The 75-year-old, who has been in power for nine years, held a televised conference on Wednesday where he announced his intention to step down.
The country’s ruling African National Congress party (ANC) had tabled a motion of no confidence against the president.
They had pressurised Mr Zuma to quit and allow his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa, who was elected leader of the ANC in December, to take over.
Mr Zuma said: ‘I have therefore come to the decision to resign as president of the republic with immediate effect.’
The departing president is facing allegations of corruption and was ordered to step down by his party on Tuesday.
He had been told to quit immediately or face a vote of no confidence in parliament.
Mr Zuma said: ‘Even though I disagree with the decision of the leadership of my organisation, I have always been a disciplined member of the ANC.’
The ruling party had said it would vote him out on Thursday.
He added: ‘No life should be lost in my name. And also the ANC should not be divided in my name.’
Before going into politics, Mr Zuma was an anti-apartheid resistance fighter.
Over a period of decades, the president, who has four wives, has become involved in a number of scandals that polarised the nation.
South Africa’s currency, the rand, gains ground whenever he has political turbulence and soared to a year high against the dollar ahead of his conference.