Pretoria — South African President Jacob Zuma announced his resignation with immediate effect on Wednesday night.
In a televised statement he said he was quitting with immediate effect but said he disagreed with his ANC party's decision.
The ANC had told him to step down or face a vote of no confidence in parliament.
The 75-year-old has been facing calls to give way to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, the ANC's new leader.
"No life should be lost in my name and also the ANC should never be divided in my name. I have therefore come to the decision to resign as president of the republic with immediate effect," he said.