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Jacob Zuma faces anonymous confidence motion


Jacob Zuma faces anonymous confidence motion

South Africa’s president will seek to hold on to power in the face of a confidence motion to be brought by the opposition today. The motion is a response to Zuma’s March sacking of popular Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and 783 pending corruption charges.

While Mr Zuma has survived three previous attempts to remove him from office, this one comes with a new wrinkle. In June, South Africa’s top court ruled that the speaker of parliament could hold an anonymous vote, which she has opted for.

The secret ballot provides a shield of anonymity to lawmakers from the ruling African National Congress who do not wish to publicly turn on the party leadership. However, the critical mass of 50 ANC defections (assuming all opposition members vote against Zuma), may still be out of reach.

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But a large number of ANC defections could signal that his hold on the party is weakening and hinder plans to install his preferred successor, former African Union Commission chair (and ex-wife) Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

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