Amid protests, Zuma up against secret no-confidence vote in South Africa
11 August, 2017, 00:40 | Author: Irene Delgado
Zuma had survived six previous attempts to unseat him in parliament, but this was the first to be held by secret ballot.
A handful of MPs, including Gordhan, have publicly joined calls from anti-apartheid veterans and trade unions for Zuma to resign, as South Africa endures record unemployment and a recession. That underlines the control Zuma exerts over the party, despite accelerating allegations of influence-peddling and corruption, a Wall Street Journal report noted earlier this year.
The no-confidence motion needs 201 votes to succeed, or a simple majority of parliament's 400 seats.
It was the belief of opposition parties that MP's from the governing African National Congress would be more likely to vote against the president should their vote be held in secret.
Mr Zuma's tenure as South Africa's president is due to run until 2019 when national elections will be held.
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 past year, when the ANC'slost major cities in its worst election performance since the end of apartheid.
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Demonstrators - for and against Zuma - had gathered outside the Cape Town parliament. "It is hard to defeat the ANC", he said to applause.
"Since the dawn of our democracy, the stakes have never been higher", Mmusi Maimane, leader of the main opposition Democratic Alliance party, told lawmakers.
"As you can see, thousands of people have reached the end of their tether in terms of what is happening in our handsome country, our lovely, diverse country that we should enjoy but we can't enjoy because millions of our people are without jobs", said one protester, Johnnie Jacobs.
The ruling ANC party has a large majority in the house, and would choose the incoming national leader. According to the website Africa Check, three motions to remove Zuma have gone to a vote; the remaining two failed because they were either withdrawn or amended.
The opposition managed to garner 177 votes for the motion of no-confidence.
The draft of the motion by the Democratic Alliance has been tweeted by parliament.
Across the country, there were huge marches and protests as the elected leaders debated the issue of Zuma's removal. And vote to remove Jacob Zuma today. Removing Zwane, who has also been accused of being too close to the wealthy family, may placate some of Zuma's critics amid a battle with mining companies over new empowerment regulations.
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