The Democratic Alliance failed to push a vote of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma, with the president’s support base rallying behind him against the motion.
A vote of no confidence brought in March 2015 saw 221 MPs oppose the motion, with 113 supporting and 8 abstaining.
In the latest vote, Zuma garnered even more support, with 225 members opposing the motion, with only 99 supoorting. 22 MPs abstained, including all EFF members, who elected to not participate.
The EFF said it refuses to legitimise a “morally and politically compromised president of the ANC through another process of Parliament”.
Had the party taken part, support for the motion could have potentially grown to 121 MPs – however, this would still not have been enough to push the motion.
Congress of the People (Cope) member of Parliament Willie Madisha was also ordered out of the house by deputy speaker Lechesa Tsenoli after refusing to stop speaking – which would have made the total number 122.
The ANC commands a majority vote in Parliament with 249 seats. Historically, the party has used its numbers to push or block whichever policies and motions it wants.
In leading the vote, DA leader Mmusi Maimane appealed to ANC MPs to vote with the consciences, saying they “will have to choose between their loyalty to South Africa and its people‚ and their loyalty to Zuma”.
The DA leader said the motion was not about party politics, but rather about putting the country first.
The party brought the motion following Zuma’s decision to fire former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene in December 2015.
Zuma’s decision lead to economic turmoil which caused the country’s volatile economy to crash, resulting in billions of rands being wiped out.