South African Prez resigns formally

Updated on Sep 22, 2008 11:50 PM IST

South African President Thabo Mbeki rejected allegations that he had interfered in the prosecution of his arch-rival Jacob Zuma and stressed his achievements during nine years in office.

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None | ByDPA, Johannesburg

Formally announcing his resignation Sunday, South African President Thabo Mbeki rejected allegations that he had interfered in the prosecution of his arch-rival Jacob Zuma and stressed his achievements during nine years in office.

Mbeki was speaking a day after the ruling African National Congress demanded he step down seven months before the end of his second term after a court implied he had a hand in the decision to prosecute ANC leader Zuma for corruption.

Mbeki said he had handed his letter of resignation Sunday to the speaker of parliament, Baleka Mbete, who is tipped to becoming acting president.

Referring to the ruling, which his detractors in the ANC seized upon to oust him, Mbeki said, in an address to the nation: "We have never done this" (interfered in the work of the National Prosecuting Authority), describing suggestions of wrongdoing on his part as "gratuitous".

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