President Thabo Mbeki has relieved his deputy Jacob Zuma of his duties.

Mbeki made the announcement during a special joint sitting of the two houses of parliament on Tuesday afternoon.

"As president of the republic, I have come to the conclusion that the circumstances dictate that in the interest of the honorable deputy president, the government, our young democratic system and our country, it would be best to release the honorable Jacob Zuma from his responsibilities as deputy president of the republic and member of the cabinet," Mbeki told a joint sitting of parliament.

This came almost two weeks after Zuma was implicated in corruption during the Durban High Court trial of businessman Schabir Shaik, who acted as his financial advisor. - Sapa, Reuters and AFP