President Jacob Zuma managed to survive an opposition-led vote of no confidence when The National Assembly voted against the motion on Tuesday March, 17.
The final result of the vote was 113 in favour, 221 against and eight members abstaining.
Voting was delayed by about 10 minutes when the electronic ballot system froze and technicians had to be called in to fix the problem.
This is the second motion of no confidence against the president this year. The first motion was brought forward by political party Agang SA in February but was withdrawn when a secret ballot was denied. The DA filed for a motion of no confidence on Tuesday March, 03 following Agang’s withdrawal.
During the no confidence debate, DA Parliamentary Leader Mmusi Maimane commented that those opposed to the motion would “…vote against their conscience…”and “vote for a thief…”. ANC chief whip Stone Sizani objected to Maimane’s comment that the president is a thief. Maimane reluctantly withdrew the comment but said it was allowed by the constitutional court.
Watch some of Maimane’s speech below:
A member of the Economic Freedom Fighters Nokolunga Sonti made similar comments to Maimane, providing an ultimatum that the vote was either for President Zuma or South African citizens. The Freedom Front Plus’s Pieter Groenewald said that “The president runs away from his responsibilities”.
The debate included numerous insults made by assembly members such as Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu saying Maimane is “a desperate man trying to prop up a desperate party [the DA].” Opposition members responded by saying speaker Baleka Mbete was acting impartially.
The president was not present during The National Assembly as he was attending the inauguration of new Lesotho Prime Minister-elect Pakalitha Mosisili according to a statement by the office of the President.