South African President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday resigned from his office with immediate effect making the announcement in a televised address to the nation.
The 75-year-old has been under increasing pressure to give way to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, the ANC's new leader.
Zuma, who has been in power since 2009, faces numerous allegations of corruption.
His resignation came at the end of a long speech in which he said he disagreed with the way the ANC had acted towards him.
According to BBC, he said he did not fear a motion of no-confidence, adding: "I have served the people of South Africa to the best of my ability."
Zuma also said that violence and division within the ANC had influenced his decision to step down.
"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 was quoted as saying.
"Even though I disagree with the decision of the leadership of my organisation, I have always been a disciplined member of the ANC.
"As I leave I will continue to serve the people of South Africa as well as the ANC, the organisation I have served... all of my life."
Meanwhile, the ANC said Zuma's resignation provided "certainty to the people of South Africa".
Deputy Secretary General Jessie Duarte told reporters: "President Zuma remains a principled member of the ANC. The ANC wants to salute the outstanding contribution he has made."