South African president Thabo Mbeki has resigned:
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – South African President Thabo Mbeki agreed to resign after the ruling party ordered him Saturday to step down, a move that could heighten turmoil in Africa’s economic powerhouse.
Mbeki’s rival and heir apparent Jacob Zuma was not expected to take over immediately. Another figure in the ruling African National Congress could be named interim president by parliament.
“Following the decision of the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress to recall President Thabo Mbeki, the President has obliged and will step down after all constitutional requirements have been met,” the presidency said in a terse statement.
Mbeki was due to stand down next year after two terms in office, but faced growing pressure from Zuma’s supporters to quit following a judge’s ruling that Mbeki may have had a role in Zuma being charged with corruption.
A point I’ve made from time to time is that people tend to do what they’ve been trained to do and Thabo Mbeki is a fine example of that point. He’s a diplomat and much of his time and energies during his nine years in office have been devoted to mediation all over Africa, regardless of what South Africa’s needs might have been.
Now failing to stick to his knitting has cost him his job.