The South African rand sank to R15.16 to the dollar on Tuesday night as a motion to impeach President Jacob Zuma was defeated by an ANC majority in Parliament.
Parties duked in out in the National Assembly in a heated debate around the president, debating a motion brought by the Democratic Alliance to have him impeached following a Constitutional Court ruling that he had violated the country’s top laws.
The motion was tabled in the wake of a Constitutional Court ruling that Zuma had violated the constitution by disregarding a Public Protector report into the undue benefit he and his family gained through upgrades to his Nkandla homestead.
In the matter, Zuma failed to get a court to rule on the Public Protector’s report before dismissing it. The ConCourt also ruled that the National Assembly itself was also in violation of its constitutional obligations by not holding the executive to account.
Following the ConCourt ruling, the rand, bolstered by more favourable international conditions as well, strengthened to its lowest point against the dollar in 4 months – R14.76.
However, as an ANC majority shouldered out the opposition in a vote to have the president impeached, the currency sank back above R15.00 to the dollar, settling at R15.16.
The motion to impeach Zuma failed to pass, with 143 MPs voting in favour of impeachment, and 233 voting against impeachment with no members abstaining.