A motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma was defeated in Parliament on Tuesday.
The motion, tabled the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA), had 221 votes against and 113 in favour, with eight abstentions, Parliament Speaker Baleka Mbete announced.
The National Assembly kicked off the debate on the motion earlier in the day.
One of the reasons for the DA to table the motion is that independent institutions of the State have been politicized and weakened under Zuma’s leadership.
Other reasons include: unemployment has escalated to unprecedented levels, the economy is at its weakest point in recent history, the basic rights of South Africans are trampled while the connected benefit and corruption has spiraled out of control.
DA Parlimentary Leader Mmusi Maimane said during the debate that the vote before the MPs “is not only one of no confidence, it is a vote of conscience”.
“We cannot in good conscience allow the needs of millions of South Africans to be superseded by the agenda of one man, while we look on in silence,” said Maimane.
The motion was brought by the DA after Agang-SA, another opposition party, withdrew its motion of no confidence in Zuma.
“I think we must have the debate. Agang-SA’s behaviour made a joke of the process and I’m not sure it is something you take lightly,” said DA’s Chief Whip John Steenhuisen.
Moloto Mothapo, spokesperson of the African National Congress’ (ANC’s) Chief Whip Stone Sizani, said that while Parliament was legally obliged to entertain the debate within a reasonable time, the ruling party viewed the DA’s motion in the same light as that of Agang-SA.
Agang-SA tabled its motion but withdrew it in early March soon after kicking off the debate in the National Assembly in protest against Parliament Speaker Baleka Mbete’s refusal to recuse herself from presiding over the debate.
The ANC has said it welcomes a motion of no confidence debate because such a debate “signals a maturing democracy in South Africa”.
The ANC, with its overwhelming majority in Parliament, accedes to debating such motions, proving once again that all voices must be heard and are respected in the country, ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said. Enditem