President Jacob Zuma joined by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa greets thousands of supporters on arrival at the 103rd ANC Anniversary celebrations held at the Cape Town Stadium in Greenpoint. Picture: GCIS
DURBAN - IT was another late night special for President Jacob Zuma, who announced his resignation as head of state on Wednesday night.

Zuma’s tenure came to a crunching halt on Valentine's Day, February 14. He had resumed office in May 2009. His tenure was cut short by just over a year before the end of his second term.

Like his predecessor Thabo Mbeki, there would be no completion of the second term.

Late night appearances have become synonymous with the Zuma administration, particularly in his second term, where ministers have been fired almost in the dead of the night.

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On Wednesday night, just after 10.30pm, a jovial Zuma appeared in front of television cameras for the last time as the number one citizen in the republic.

Zuma turned on the charm with the serious looking journalists who were at the Union Buildings, joking that it was a late night - but stressed there was work to be done.

Zuma’s resignation speech, which went for about 30 minutes saw him journey through his political life briefly. He then fired on all cylinders, taking a sharp turn as his speech began to sound as if he was daring Parliament oust him by motion of no confidence, which was set to take place at 2pm on Thursday had Zuma not resigned on Wednesday night.


Zuma appeared to put on a fight, quipping he was not afraid of being removed by a motion of no confidence, impeachment or losing his presidential perks. This excited some in the twitterati, like musician AKA, who tweeted:
But ultimately, unhappily and reluctantly, Zuma announced his resignation as state president. He parted and he left the journalists with these words: “We will meet again, somewhere”. 

As Zuma faded into the background, thousands had their say on social media. Some paid tributes were videos of Zuma singing at former president Nelson Mandela’s funeral, while some slated him for the past nine years he had cost South Africa. 

Celebrities also had their say. Some were appreciative of Zuma, while others were happy to see the back of the man from Nkandla go. Rapper AKA was among the celebrities who thanked Zuma.
Actress Samkelo Ndlovu was relieved to see the back of Zuma, along with fellow actress Omuhle Gela, who thought the ex president loved to play victim. TV creator and actress, Portia Gumede, paid homage to Khwezi. Angolan TV personality Weza Solange had strong words for South Africans and prayed for both countries. Creative man Khaya Dlanga thought Zuma gave the country the best Valentine’s Day present, ever. Fashion designer Thula Sindi was hopeful for better days ahead. East Coast Radio breakfast jock Darren Maule stayed up late to witness it for himself. TV personality Boitumelo “Boity” Thulo seemed to be out of words, tweeting that her heart was pounding. Glamour girl Bonang Matheba had a one word tweet. US based actress Pearl Thusi channeled Archbishop Desmond, who had warned the country about Zuma. Rapper Cassper Nyovest, who tweeted that he was out of the country, looked for guidance on how to feel from his fans. SUNDAY TRIBUNE