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Sep 22, 2008 at 09:48am IST

South African President Mbeki resigns

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.

STEPPING DOWN: Thabo Mbeki formally tenders his resignation in a televised address.

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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