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South African president survives no-confidence motion

Criticism of Jacob Zuma from within his party has grown amid multiple corruption scandals.

Reuters 20170705 South Africa's President Jacob Zuma at an ANC meeting earlier this year. Source: Siphiwe Sibeko/PA Images

SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma survived a parliamentary vote of no-confidence today, as members of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) stuck by their leader despite divisions and fierce criticism of his rule.

The no-confidence motion needed to secure 201 of the 400 votes in parliament to succeed, but fell short with 177 votes, national assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete announced this afternoon.

Criticism of Zuma from within the ANC has grown amid multiple corruption scandals and mounting economic woes, with the celebrated party of Nelson Mandela declining sharply at the polls.

ANC officials predicted that the president would survive the vote given the party’s large parliamentary majority.

Today, the parliamentary party celebrated victory over what it described as an attempted “soft coup”.

South Africa No Confidence Vote Protesters against President Jacob Zuma marching to parliament in Cape Town today. Source: AP/PA Images

“It has been the publicly stated intention of the opposition… to collapse government, deter service delivery and sow seeds of chaos in society to ultimately grab power,” the party said in a statement.

Several opposition parties led thousands of anti-Zuma protesters outside the national assembly before the vote, while supporters of the president held a rival march.

Zuma, who has built up a network of loyalists in the ANC since coming to power in 2009, has survived several previous parliamentary votes.

© AFP 2017 

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