Zuma no-confidence vote begins

SA President Zuma faces no confidence secret ballot

If the motion succeeds, he must resign.

Zuma's survival will show how just how much power he holds over the ANC regardless of the secret ballot.

Zuma has survived seven no confidence motions which were conducted by open ballot.

The downgrades followed a series of corruption scandals, and Zuma is also under fire over his handling of the economy. Though falling short of the simple majority required to oust the president, the final tally of 177 votes to 198, with nine abstentions, was closer than many expected. But because five parliament seats are now vacant, the opposition wants the count to be based on 395 seats instead.

Typically secret ballots are used in referendums to protect the identity of citizens.

Jacob Zuma has been dogged by claims of corruption and mismanagement during his time in office.

CAPE TOWN South Africa's parliament began voting on a no-confidence motion against President Jacob Zuma late on Tuesday.

"Since the dawn of our democracy, the stakes have never been higher", Mmusi Maimane, leader of the main opposition Democratic Alliance party, told lawmakers.

Shapiro feels South Africa has hard task ahead of turning the economy around - irrespective of today's outcome.

Opposition parties and the Future South Africa coalition of social, religious and community organisations have vowed to intensify their battle to get Zuma recalled by the ANC.

Demonstrators - for and against Zuma - had gathered outside the Cape Town parliament.

Steven Gruzd, Program Head, Governance and the African Peer Review Mechanism at the South African Institute of International Affairs said both the ruling party and the opposition are winners. A similar replacement process kicked into gear after the ANC recalled former President Thabo Mbeki in 2008.

Some of Ramaphosa's supporters have recently warned that a successful no confidence vote would have put him in an awkward position, where Zuma would have still been the ANC President, but Ramaphosa had to run the country until December.

The ANC regards it as paramount that not just the elected representatives, but all South Africans are able to engage on the most critical issues facing the country without fear of favor, ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said.

South Africa slipped into recession earlier this year.

Mthembu noted that this outcome indicates that more than 25 ANC MPs voted with the opposition.

But ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu said that at a meeting before the parliamentary session, the party had resolved to support him.

"As a effect should the vote of no confidence fail that would be more likely to put pressure on the rand".

Jacob Zuma had planned a victory speech before the ballots were even cast.

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