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ANC blocks 'no confidence' debate

The ANC on Thursday prevented efforts to have a motion of no confidence against Zuma debated.

The ANC stood behind President Zuma preventing efforts to have a motion of no confidence against him debated.

CAPE TOWN - Opposition party efforts to have a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma debated in the National Assembly were scuppered by the ANC on Thursday.

Last week, eight opposition parties, led by the Democratic Alliance (DA), tabled the notice in Parliament, Cape Town.

They claim Zuma has failed to show leadership in a number of respects.

The parties believe the justice system has been weakened and corruption is spiralling out of control under Zuma's leadership.

The Parliamentary programming committee, which determines the agenda of the house, was unable to schedule the motion for debate because the ANC would not agree to it.

During the programming committee meeting, DA Chief Whip Wattie Watson called for the motion to be debated in the National Assembly.

"The reasons for giving notice of this motion are factual and not frivolous."

But the ANC's Mathole Motshega refused.

"We reject it with the contempt that it deserves."

As temperatures rose, committee chairperson Max Sisulu repeatedly called for order.

"I'm not taking any more ends. No, no correction, no additions, no subtractions."

For the motion to make it onto the National Assembly's agenda, there has to be a general agreement in the programming committee.

But there was no consensus.

Zuma has come under fire for upgrades made to his Nkandla home in KwaZulu-Natal.

His critics believe it is wasteful expenditure, as millions of South Africans are still waiting for RDP houses.

Zuma is widely expected to be re-elected as ANC president during the party's elective conference in Mangaung over December.