South Africa's president survives latest no-confidence vote amidst allegations of corruption

Kristopher Drake
August 11, 2017

Members of Parliament (MPs) were allowed to vote by way of a secret ballot following a heated debate.
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Mthembu says that Tuesday's mandate in the motion of confidence against the president was not to vote with opposition parties and has applauded those who defended the party.

Jacob Zuma has been dogged by claims of corruption and mismanagement during his time in office.

The African National Congress has 249 seats in the 400-seat parliament and the opposition controls 151 seats.

Members of the opposition EFF (Economic Freedom Fighters) during a march to the Union Buildings, calling for embattled president Zuma to step down, in Pretoria, South Africa.

Some market watchers argued ahead of the vote that it would fail, noting that Zuma's term as leader of his party, the African National Congress, ends in December 2017, anyway, although his term as president ends in 2019.

The Zuma camp branded the motion an imperialist inspired move but the proponents argued that the current establishment had been held hostage by the influential Gupta family.

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane said it was significant that a number of ANC MPs had been prepared to join forces with the opposition to force Zuma out of office.

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


The ANC, in a statement released shortly after the vote, said that the result was "a resounding defeat of the motion of no confidence in President Zuma and our cabinet" and that "the biggest victor of today's event is our constitutional dispensation".

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.

Maimane's Democratic Alliance said it would table a motion for early elections to be held in parliament on Thursday.

Many predicted the vote would fail, saying most members of the decades-old liberation party would hesitate to make any major leadership changes initiated by the opposition.

"When one combines ongoing political risk, a technical recession and emerging concerns over potential political interference in the hallowed ground of monetary policy, it creates a picture that sellers will remain in control of the South African Rand", Ahmad added.

The final vote was 198 to 177, with nine abstentions. Marches against Zuma and, by the ANC Cape Town region, for Zuma.

The no-confidence motion needs 201 votes to succeed. Zuma's party has bailed him out from at least five previous attempts to remove him.

"Mbete's decision was made knowing that Zuma will be secure", said Darias Jonker, of the New York-based Eurasia political analysis consultancy.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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