Zuma survives no confidence vote, opposition vow to step up pressure

11 August, 2017, 00:36 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • SA President Zuma faces no confidence secret ballot

CAPE TOWN South Africa's parliament began voting on a no-confidence motion against President Jacob Zuma late on Tuesday.

Mosiuoa Lekota, leader of opposition party Congress of the People, described the secret ballot against the President as "groundbreaking".

Mr Zuma easily survived an impeachment vote in 2016 after South Africa's highest court ruled he had breached the constitution over government funds spent renovating his private home. A simple majority of 201 votes was required to remove Zuma as president. But because five parliament seats are now vacant, the opposition wants the count to be based on 395 seats instead.

It was the first such vote on Zuma to be held by secret ballot, and dozens of members of his ruling African National Congress party revolted and supported the motion.

"Ours is not against the ANC but against the father of Duduzane‚" he said‚ referring to Zuma's son alleged to have ties with the controversial Gupta family.

"Go, Zuma go!" the leader of the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party, Mmusi Maimane, called out to the crowd.

"We are here to remove Duduzane's father, because Duduzane's father is the most corrupt individual in this country", he said.

South Africa's largest opposition party, Democratic Alliance (DA), said Zuma and his ANC had "nothing to celebrate".

If the ruling African National Congress party, which has the clear majority in parliament, can not agree on a candidate in that time, new national elections would be held.


Inside parliament before the vote, the ruling ANC had held a last-minute meeting behind closed doors to try and ensure its legislators' support for the motion.

Of the 384 votes cast in the 400-member parliament this evening, 198 were against the motion and 177 in favour of it.

The South African rand tumbled shortly after the news crossed the wires, reversing the previous day's gains.

Across the country, there were huge marches and protests as the elected leaders debated the issue of Zuma's removal.

Zuma's political controversies have drawn attention away from South Africa's pressing long-term economic challenges.

"Overall, though, around 60-70 ANC MPs (out of a total of 249 ANC MPs) would probably need to rebel for the motion to pass", Jackson said in a note.

Demonstrations both for and against Zuma are planned in front of the parliament building before the much-anticipated vote.

Montalto also predicted Dlamini-Zuma would win the race to replace Zuma but after a "close and very hard fought" election.

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