South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma has survived a no-confidence motion against him in parliament by garnering 198 votes to the opposition’s 177 as African National Congress lawmakers rallied to his support.
There were nine abstentions in the secret ballot.
ANC lawmakers erupted into singing and dancing in parliament even before the speaker of the house announced the result of the vote in favour of the 75-year-old Zuma, who has been dogged by allegations of corruption during his eight years in office.
“The motion of no-confidence is … negative,” Baleka Mbete, speaker of the 400-member parliament, said.
The rand fell by 1 per cent on the announcement of the outcome.
Zuma said his African National Congress (ANC) party was united and the opposition could not take power through parliament.
“They are pumping propaganda through the media that the ANC is no longer supported by the people. It is their own imagination,” he said, before breaking into song and cracking jokes with a cheering crowd.
“The ANC is supported by the overwhelming majority.”
Zuma, who has held power in Africa’s most industrialised economy since 2009 but whose time in office has been marked by allegations of sleaze and influence-peddling, has now survived nine no-confidence votes thanks to loyal backing from lawmakers in his ANC.
Had he lost, he and his entire cabinet would have had to step down.
Mbete had earlier ruled that the vote should – unlike other no-confidence votes Zuma faced – be by secret ballot, a decision the opposition hoped would embolden ANC members who are unhappy with Zuma to vote against him.