PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma has survived the motion of no confidence in Parliament, maintaining his grip on power.
This was the eighth attempt to remove Zuma but he has once again proven that he is a politician with nine lives.
Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete read out the results of the secret vote just after 6:30 pm on Tuesday night. Zuma narrowly won the closely contested election by 21 votes.
“The yes votes were 187, no votes 198 and there were nine abstentions. The motion of no confidence in the president is accordingly negative. That concludes the business for the day,” said Mbete.
The victory was a very narrow but the African National Congress maintained after the vote that they knew they would emerge victoriously. Spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said the results were democracy in action.
“We have never doubted that members of the ANC would vote with the opposition. This motion was never about President Jacob Zuma but dislodging the ANC. Interestingly as they were talking to our members, we were also talking to members of the opposition who were not happy with what was happening in the opposition benches. We were sure that we would defeat this motion. The African National Congress was confident,” said Kodwa.
ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu said he was more relieved that ANC members did not sell out on their national democratic revolution and defeated their motion.
“They defended the vote that brought us here. We are happy that we defeated this ploy of the DA to weaken the ANC. This is the eighth motion of no confidence we have defeated and if they bring another one tomorrow we will still defeat it,” he said.
Mthembu said the party would work to remove the notion that the party has been captured. He said the notion of the judicial commission of inquiry should be implemented as a matter of urgency. “Government and our glorious movement can we dig deep into this,” he said.
Mthembu refused to indicate if they would be taking steps against members who voted with the opposition.
“Let’s look at this thing that has made certain members of the ANC be hesitant to defend their own movement even when it’s under attack,” he said.
United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa indicated that despite having lost the motion, he was happy with the fact that ANC members refused to toe the party line and voted with the opposition parties.
“I’m happy that the members of the ANC voted with the opposition parties and those MPs are safe. What it says is that the ANC is no longer in control of everybody in the country. It’s a hollow country. UDM will be joining the EFF to go to the Constitutional court for an impeachment of the president. It went down to the wire. It’s no longer the same ANC that boasts that they have the numbers,” said Holomisa.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane said the result showed that certain members of the ANC were willing to protect corruption at all costs. He said he was encouraged that some members took a stand and said Zuma must go.
“What was encouraging is that members of the opposition and ANC stood together to say Zuma must go. Today there are members of the ANC who voted to protect Zuma. They showed they are united to protect corruption. Today showed that this elephant called the ANC can be defeated. Jacob Zuma must resign, he has lost the mandate. He must resign or he will face his day in court. It’s clear that there are members of the ANC who stand with us. 2019 can;’ come soon enough,” he said.