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Protests in South Africa ahead of no-confidence vote against Zuma

11 August 2017

South African President Jacob Zuma survived an attempt in parliament to force him from office Tuesday, but was left politically wounded after some members of his ruling African National Congress (ANC) party voted with the opposition. Debating the motion in the National Assembly on Thursday, political parties blasted Zuma, calling him corrupt and a Gupta president. But, this one was different - it was a secret ballot.

Instead, ANC members in the chamber began singing shortly before the results were announced, while supporters outside started to dance. "They will realize in 2019 when we win in a big number once again".

Some 198 MPs voted against a motion of no confidence in him, 177 MPs voted in favour of the motion and 9 MPs abstained.

Dozens of ANC members ended up supporting the no-confidence motion, as the ruling party holds 249 of the 400 parliament seats, five of them now vacant.

The ANC, however, called the DA's plan "a ploy", which "exposes what the ANC has always stated that the motion of no confidence in Zuma is not about the president but an attempt at regime change through Parliament".

Criticism of Zuma from within the ANC has grown amid multiple corruption scandals and mounting economic woes, and the celebrated party of former South African president Nelson Mandela has declined sharply at the polls. Had he lost, he and his entire cabinet would have had to resign. He warned that removing Mr Zuma through a vote of no-confidence would be hugely damaging to the country. The Guptas have denied interfering in the affairs of the state.

"Those who have surrendered the people's power into a family of foreigners. In short, we believe that parliament should be dissolved now so that the country can hold an early election".

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Meanwhile EFF leader Julius Malema made an impassioned plea to the ANC's younger MPs and members of the ANC Youth League to think about their future when casting their votes. In the end only about 30 ANC MPs voted against the president.

'The ANC is supported by the overwhelming majority, ' he insisted before breaking into song and cracking jokes.

A broad coalition of opposition parties and renegade MPs from the ruling African National Congress (ANC) fell short of the simple majority to pass the no-confidence motion against the president.

Ahead of the vote, the opposition DA (Democratic Alliance) ran a campaign targeting ANC members who were supposedly unhappy with their leadership.

"Do the right thing today".

Demonstrations both for and against Zuma are planned in front of the parliament building before the much-anticipated vote.

Protests in South Africa ahead of no-confidence vote against Zuma