Saturday, 18 November, 2017

South Africa's President Zuma faces no-confidence vote

File ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu said the ruling party was not surprised by Mbete's decision File ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu said the ruling party was not surprised by Mbete's decision
Christy Curtis | 10 August, 2017, 01:16

Speaking on behalf of the ruling ANC, deputy chief whip Doris Dlakude said the motion against Zuma amounted to a "power grab" by the opposition.

SOUTH Africa's president Jacob Zuma survived a no-confidence vote yesterday and insisted his African National Congress party was united and would not be toppled.

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.

A court previous year found him guilty of violating the constitution after he refused to repay taxpayers' money used to refurbish his private rural house. The main candidates appear to be Cyril Ramaphosa, who is now deputy president and is seen as the more pro-business candidate, and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who is in President Zuma's ex-wife and is in Mr. Zuma's more populist camp. "It is their own imagination", an exuberant Zuma told a cheering crowd outside parliament in Cape Town after the result was announced.

Zuma has survived at least five parliamentary votes to remove him from office since he assumed the presidency in 2009, but Tuesday's vote is the first secret ballot vote.

Allegations of corruption have troubled the Zuma government in recent years.

"The motion of no-confidence is ... negative", Baleka Mbete, speaker of the 400-member Parliament, said.

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

During an interview in Kenya with journalist Vauldi Carelse, former president Thabo Mbeki also called for MPs to vote honestly. South Africa faces a choice between corruption and a prosperous South Africa. While his ANC party members are expected to rally support for him.

The president and his cabinet would then be forced to resign, following which parliament would elect a new president from among its members, or early elections would be held. He has endorsed his ex-wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as his successor.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Zuma said he had come to thank his supporters and "those in parliament who had voted correctly". It is impossible: they can not.

"It went to the wire because there are only 11 votes that divide us", Holomisa said.

Criticism increased following the sacking of the widely-respected finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, in March.

She claimed the motion of no confidence was the work of an "insurrectionist opposition" whose main aim was to "sow seeds of chaos in society to ultimately grab power".

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