Former South Africa President Thabo Mbeki has called on his embattled successor Jacob Zuma to immediately resign following Tuesday’s recall announcement by the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

Mr Mbeki, who was axed in a similar fashion by President Zuma in 2008, said it had been obvious for many years that the interests of the country would be best served if Mr Zuma ceased to be president of the republic.

“As a disciplined and loyal cadre of the ANC and out of respect for the constitution of the country, Mr Zuma must communicate with the Speaker of the House of Assembly to tender his resignation as the President of the Republic,” Mr Mbeki said in a statement issued via his Foundation.

He welcomed the ANC decision to recall President Zuma, saying it was long overdue.

“This long overdue resolution by the NEC of the African National Congress gives the possibility for the ANC as the governing party to urgently and immediately attend to the many challenges and negative developments which have arisen during the years of the Presidency of Mr Zuma,” he said.