South African President Jacob Zuma has survived his ninth no-confidence vote thanks to the support of loyalists from the ruling African National Congress. Lucy Fielder reports.
South African President Jacob Zuma has survived a no-confidence vote. It was his ninth such challenge - but this was the first to be held by secret ballot. That raised the stakes, with national media calling it 'high noon' for Zuma. But opposition hopes the secrecy would embolden critics within his ANC ruling party were thwarted. Thousands took to the streets on Tuesday to demand that lawmakers throw Zuma out. Accusations of corruption and mismanaging the economy have dogged his presidency. Zuma took power in 2009. If Tuesday's vote had gone against him, he would have been booted from office. On top of years of corruption allegations, Zuma upset investors in March by sacking respected Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Criticism has also grown within the ruling African National Congress Party. But although divided, ANC lawmakers resolved to rally behind him at a meeting before the parliamentary vote. Party officials portrayed the challenge to Zuma as an attack on the party, once all-powerful as the heir of South Africa's anti-apartheid struggle.