Published: Thu, August 10, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

These numbers explain why South Africa's president Zuma won't be pushed out

These numbers explain why South Africa's president Zuma won't be pushed out

Opposition parties had hoped the secret ballot would mean some MPs from the governing ANC party might side with them against the president.

However, Tuesday's vote of no confidence, which was held in secret, makes it clear that the ruling party will not allow opposition parties to dictate how it resolves its internal problems. On Monday, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete announced she had heeded the call for a secret ballot.

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.

Zuma's victory earlier in the day was ensured by 198 votes supporting him against 177 in favor of the motion brought by the DA, while nine people abstained.

He has been accused of being in the sway of the wealthy Gupta business family, allegedly granting them influence over government appointments, contracts and state-owned businesses.

Allegations of corruption have troubled the Zuma government in recent years. He has survived several motions of no confidence before, although the previous ones were by an open vote, and has dealt with accusations of corruption.

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Leader of the DA (Democratic Alliance) Maimane Mmusi speaks prior to a motion of no confidence vote against South African President Jacob Zuma in a sitting of parliament in Cape Town, South Africa 08 August 2017.

While that was not the case, at least 26 MPs from the ruling African National Congress party voted for Zuma's removal from office.

The 400-member Parliament is dominated by ANC MPs.

Mthembu said the ANC caucus feels "vindicated that we, indeed, voted in the best interest of the country and the electorate who gave us a mandate to continue improving their lives".

The Parliamentary Speaker would take up the presidency for 30 days and ANC would then choose its next leader, since it occupies the majority in the parliament. This was after Zuma's decision to sack finance minister Pravin Gordhan, triggering the country's recession and downgrading of national credit ratings to "junk" status. Peter Granitz reports from the capital, Pretoria, that while Zuma stays on as president, he has lost the support of some members of his party.

"The vast majority of ANC MPs are not willing to risk the stability of the party in order to remove Zuma in this fashion", Jonker said.

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