SOUTH African president Jacob Zuma has narrowly survived yet another motion of no confidence against him in parliament.
This was the sixth of the no confidence motions of his beleaguered presidency.
In a secret ballot, a broad coalition of opposition parties and renegade MPs from the ruling African National Congress (ANC) were unable to muster the simple majority needed to remove the president as 198 MPs voted against the motion of no confidence.
Had the motion gone through, Zuma and his cabinet would have been forced to resign immediately.
President Zuma however faces possible criminal charges over alleged corruption.
The ballot counting was accompanied by scenes of singing and dancing on both sides of the assembly, as rival parties sought to project confidence.
We taught you this song, and you don’t even sing it properly,
jeered Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema, dressed in signature red overalls, addressing his ANC counterparts.
Baleka Mbete, the speaker of parliament, announced the result – 198 MPs voted against the motion, compared to 177 in favor, with nine abstentions.
Therefore the motion of no confidence in the president is accordingly negative,” declared Mbete.
ANC MPs in parliament whooped and danced at the news.
But DA leader Mmusi Maimane says his party will take President Zuma to court next month.
In the hours before Tuesday’s vote, a series of coordinated protests across South Africa demanded Zuma’s removal. A petition signed by more than a million people was delivered to the deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, who is seen as Zuma’s main rival.