A top South African intelligence official, accused of spying on a politically-connected businessman, has now resigned.

South Africa's intelligence minister announced Sunday that the head of operations for the National Intelligence Agency, Lizo Njenje, was stepping down from his post.

A joint statement issued by Mr. Njenje and Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils said they were parting amicably.

Mr. Njenje was suspended last month after he and colleagues were accused of violating agency guidelines by mounting a surveillance operation against a former politician who is a close ally of South Africa's president.

The development comes during a deep rift in the ruling African National Congress party involving former Deputy President Jacob Zuma, who was formally charged with corruption last Friday.