South Africa's parliament has merely postponed Jacob Zuma's day of reckoning

Henrietta Brewer
August 9, 2017

"We will never endorse or vote in favour of any motion that seeks to cripple our country", the ANC said, calling the vote an attempt to remove the party from power.

The president and his cabinet will all have to resign within 30 days, and the speaker and legislature would have to elect a new temporary cabinet.

Exulted after the defeating the motion, Mr Zuma maintained that his ANC party was united against the Opposition.

Considering that the opposition altogether holds 151 seats in parliament, the 177 votes in favor and the nine abstentions mean that 21 ANC lawmakers joined the opposition and nine preferred to remain neutral. "There was a relatively substantial mutiny", Silke said.

But ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu said that at a meeting before the parliamentary session, the party had resolved to support him.

"It has been the publicly stated intention of the opposition ... to collapse government, deter service delivery and sow seeds of chaos in society to ultimately grab power", the party said.

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. He will however continue in the post of president till the next presidential elections that take place in 2019.

This would follow a turbulent period marred by the sacking of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in March and political attacks on the Reserve Bank of South Africa by senior members of the ANC said to be aligned with Zuma.

The rand fell by 1% on the announcement of the outcome.

At that time Zuma is constitutionally obliged to stand down as South Africa's president.

Zuma has faced growing anger in South Africa over multiple allegations of corruption while the economy has slid into recession. Last year, the Constitutional Court ordered him to repay millions of dollars in public funds spent on refurbishing his private homestead. They repeatedly cited a long-running scandal involving the Guptas, a powerful family that has extensive business holdings and is close to Zuma.

He is also fighting a court order that could reinstate nearly 800 corruption charges against him over a multi-billion dollar arms deal in the 1990s.

Zuma has survived seven no confidence motions which were conducted by open ballot.

Other reports by iNewsToday