Zero hour for South Africa's Zuma as no-confidence vote begins


If South African lawmakers vote in favour of Tuesday's no-confidence motion in President Jacob Zuma, he will be forced to resign along with his entire cabinet.

Mr Zuma's critics have been calling for a secret ballot in the hope it will embolden MPs from his African National Congress (ANC) party to support his removal by shielding them from pressure.

So far, Zuma has survived seven no-confidence votes, however none of them were held in secret.

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma survived on Tuesday a motion of no confidence in his Presidency, held via secret ballot in the Parliament, South African news site reported.

Both Mr Zuma and the Gupta family deny wrongdoing.

Shapiro feels South Africa has hard task ahead of turning the economy around - irrespective of today's outcome. "It is their own imagination", Mr Zuma told a cheering crowd.

Previous attempts in parliament to unseat Zuma over accusations of corruption and cronyism had been carried out through public votes.

This would follow a turbulent period marred by the sacking of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in March and political attacks on the Reserve Bank of South Africa by senior members of the ANC said to be aligned with Zuma.

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The ANC argued that the motion was against the party and not Zuma.

Academic and political analyst Richard Calland said the ANC's victory would prove shortlived because the party's woes were confirmed by a "not insignificant" number of its members casting their ballots with the opposition camp.

Demonstrators - for and against Zuma - had gathered outside the Cape Town parliament.

United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa said his party will join the EFF in court to impeach the president.

"You are trying to get a majority you do not have, by saying secret ballot, I think it's unfair, because you are trying to increase a majority you don't have, " he said.

This was one of the toughest motion debates in Parliament in the last few years with ANC MPs being read the riot act in the caucus by the top brass earlier. He also has been accused of mismanaging the economy.

"Section 50 of our Constitution states that the President must dissolve the National Assembly if the Assembly has adopted a resolution to dissolve with a supporting vote of a majority of its members, and three years have passed since the Assembly was elected", he said.