Tuesday, April 5, 2016 5:28 pm
Just as predicted the motion to impeach President Jacob Zuma from the office of President was defeated in South Africa’s National Assembly today.
Following a tempestuous afternoon, which included a protracted delay to proceedings, members of parliament put the matter to the vote. 233 legislators voted against the motion with 143 in favour and no abstentions.
With ANC members backing their president, the result was predictable.
Members of the Economic Freedom Fighters and the Democratic Alliance walked out on the sitting.
The Constitutional Court said last week Zuma had violated the constitution when using about 15 million dollars to upgrade his rural homestead in the town of Nkandla.
Zuma later apologised to the nation for the way he had used taxpayers’ money for upgrading his home but denied any conscious wrongdoing.
Dominated by Zuma’s African National Congress (ANC) party, parliament was expected to reject the impeachment proceedings launched by the main opposition party Democratic Alliance (DA).
The proceedings were seen as a blow to Zuma, who became the first South African president to face an impeachment debate in parliament.
The president had argued that the house upgrade was for security purposes, but it also included a swimming pool, a cattle enclosure, a chicken coop, a visitors’ centre and an amphitheatre.
ANC representative John Jeffery told parliament that the court ruling gave no reason for impeaching Zuma.
But DA leader Mmusi Maimane argued that corruption had infected the entire ANC “like cancer”.