South African President Jacob Zuma survives no-confidence motion

Paul Trewhela

Paul Trewhela

Opposition parties have been pushing for a secret ballot so as to encourage ANC MPs to vote with the opposition to remove Zuma from office.

Hiding behind the secret vote, some of the 249 ANC parliamentarians supported the opposition motion, according to the result.

Debate over the measure began at 2 p.m. local time (8 a.m. ET) Tuesday, in a session that was also streamed online.

BALEKA MBETE: The Constitutional Court has indicated that a secret ballot becomes necessary when the prevailing atmosphere is toxified or highly charged. The currency immediately strengthened on the news that the vote of no confidence will be a secret ballot.

Some 40 minutes later, Mbete ordered the doors to be locked so that the vote could proceed.

"Those members will be called to account on their absenteeism".

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The Democratic Alliance's national spokesperson, Phumzile van Damme told the parliament, "No president who has stolen the people's money, violated our constitution and broken his oath should be protected by this house and its members".

The head of the main opposition Democratic Alliance party, Mmusi Maimane, is urging lawmakers to "take our country back". "As life is getting hard for our people, it is important that we put South Africans first". The official pro-Zuma vote came in at 198, which means 40 ANC members of Parliament did not act as instructed.

"This planned motion by the DA shows that the DA does not respect our democracy and the electorate of South Africa", said Nonceba Mhlauli, spokesperson of the Office of the ANC Chief Whip. "This motion is nothing else but a test of character". "That's a heavy lift".

He also stated that he was not going to resign and that since the MPs have failed through parliament to remove him, the only viable option was for the ruling Africa National Congress (ANC) to fire him.

But despite this, it seems up to 30 ANC MPs heeded the call to vote against Mr Zuma, who stands accused of widespread corruption and incompetence.

Opposition parties and the Future South Africa coalition of social, religious and community organisations have vowed to intensify their battle to get Zuma recalled by the ANC.

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Ratings agencies S&P and Fitch downgraded South Africa's credit rating to junk in the immediate aftermath of the cabinet shuffle, putting the rand under pressure. Two women who had been in the taxi died after that crash.

The president's supporters said his removal would send the country into chaos amid a leadership vacuum.

The ANC is supported by the overwhelming majority of this country.

"We will not be going on a witch hunt because we are not that type of an organization".

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