South Africa starts long walk back to post-Zuma rehabilitation
CAPE TOWN: Cyril Ramaphosa is to be confirmed as South Africa’s president in a parliamentary vote on Thursday after scandal-ridden Jacob Zuma reluctantly resigned on orders from the ruling African National Congress.
South Africa’s main stock market index jumped nearly 4 percent, putting it on track for its biggest one-day gain in more than two years as investors welcomed Zuma’s resignation after nine years in office plagued by corruption allegations.
The rand, which has gained ground whenever Zuma hit political turbulence, soared to a near three-year high against the dollar on word of his resignation.
But the road back to prosperity and self-respect under Ramaphosa, who became ANC head in December, will be long and hard in a nation still polarized by race and inequality more than two decades after the end of white-minority rule.
Still, Zuma’s departure late on Wednesday provided evidence of the strength of South Africa’s democratic institutions, from the courts to the media and the constitution.
Ramaphosa was due to be confirmed as Zuma’s permanent successor by parliament at 2 p.m. (1200 GMT), according to ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu.