ANC vindicated by DA's call to dissolve Parliament

Saul Bowman
August 11, 2017

President Jacob Zuma has survived a vote of no confidence in the South African parliament.

After nearly two hours of speeches, members of parliament voted in the secret ballot on the floor of the South African Parliament. The no-confidence motion needed 201 votes to succeed.

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

The eighth vote to try to dislodge Zuma was the first held by secret ballot after parliamentary speaker Baleka Mbete made the surprise decision to allow it. Opposition parties hoped it would encourage ANC legislators to vote against Zuma without fear of retaliation.

If the motion is successful, Zuma along with 72 cabinet ministers would be forced to step down immediately, prompting the speaker to act as interim president for 30 days until the national assembly appoints a new president and cabinet.

Zuma's term continues until elections in 2019.

The opposition has said it will bring a motion to parliament for the assembly to be dissolved and general elections held, in its hope of building on its showing at local elections previous year, when the ANC's lost major cities in its worst election performance since the end of apartheid.

Demonstrations both for and against Mr Zuma, who has led South Africa since 2009, took place in front of the parliament building in Cape Town before the vote.


Meanwhile, DA leader, Mmusi Maimane, said Zuma's narrow escape is proof the ANC too, wants him out. It is impossible. We represent the majority in the country.

A total of 198 lawmakers voted in favour of Zuma, while 177 parliamentarians cast their ballot against him.

Proceedings leading up to the Secret Ballot vote began in Parliament on this afternoon where numerous Members of Parliament (MPs) voiced their reasons as to why ANC members should support the motion and vote to have the President Zuma removed.

Mthembu noted that this outcome indicates that more than 25 ANC MPs voted with the opposition.

The African National Congress on Wednesday said the Democratic Alliance's plans to bring a motion calling for early national elections showed that it did not respect the will of the people and was intent on "regime change".

"We will see him in court next month - on September 14 & 15, where he will have to defend himself in the Supreme Court of Appeal against the 783 charges of fraud, corruption and racketeering he still faces", he said.

Also at issue is Zuma's leadership as head of the party. Zuma has survived several past no-confidence votes. While most opposition parties appear united in the cause to remove the president, there are about five opposition votes that are uncertain or even unlikely to support it.

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