Jacob Zuma defeats no-confidence vote over graft allegations

Opposition called motion against South Africa’s president over his ‘reckless leadership’

 Members of the ruling  African National Congress sing and dance during a motion of no confidence in president Jacob Zuma  in the parliament in Cape Town on Thursday. Photograph: Nic Bothma

Members of the ruling African National Congress sing and dance during a motion of no confidence in president Jacob Zuma in the parliament in Cape Town on Thursday. Photograph: Nic Bothma

 

South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma survived a no-confidence vote on Thursday, after an anti-graft watchdog called in a report for a judicial inquiry into allegations of influence-peddling in the government.

The scandal highlighted in the report has rattled investors in Africa’s most industrialised country and raised the risk of a credit ratings downgrade of the country’s stagnating economy.

Mr Zuma (74) had the support of the African National Congress (ANC), which controls about two-thirds of the 400-member assembly. He has already survived a no-confidence motion and an impeachment vote this year, related to other scandals.

“I think the ‘noes’ have it,” deputy speaker Lechesa Tsenoli ruled, after ANC deputies voted against the motion and burst into song in support of Mr Zuma.

The main opposition Democratic Alliance, which called the no-confidence motion against Mr Zuma over what it described as his “reckless leadership”, asked for a re-count of the vote.

Mr Zuma, who was not in the assembly, won with 214 lawmakers voting against the motion, while 126 voted in favour and one abstained, a result that mirrored his victory in March.

‘Ill-conceived’

Mmusi MaimaneNomvula Mokonyane

The vote comes after the public protector, a constitutionally-mandated office, called for a judicial inquiry into allegations of corruption in Mr Zuma’s government in a report entitled State of Capture released last week.

Mr Zuma denies allegations that he granted undue influence to the Gupta family of business tycoons, who run a business empire from media to mining, or anyone else. The Guptas have also denied any wrongdoing.

– (Reuters)