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South African president Mbeki resigns
President Thabo Mbeki on Sunday night confirmed that he had tendered his letter of resignation. "Today, I handed a letter to the honourable Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete to tender my resignation as President of South Africa," he said in a live televised address.

Mbeki addressed many of the issues which led to him being the first post-apartheid president to be axed.

He described himself as a loyal member of the African National Congress (ANC) and said he was happy to respect its decisions.

On Saturday, the governing party said said it had decided to "recall" Mbeki following a damning judgement by Pietermaritzburg High Court judge Chris Nicholson who said Mbeki had interfered in the judicial process against ANC President Jacob Z uma, thereby undermining the Constitution.

Mbeki said his resignation was effective from a date to be determined by the National Assembly.

He devoted a large part of his speech to detailing the achievements of his government, and of the ANC since 1994.

Mbeki said he had been loyal, and traced some of the country’s social and economic achievements during his tenure. "We must admit that we are still faced with many challenges in this regards," he said.

He singled out the criminal justice system to improve the fight against crime and improve moral regeneration.

"I thank you most sincerely for giving me the opportunity to serve you," were Mbeki’s parting words in an address which was watched by millions of South Africans.


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