BREAKING NEWS: Zuma survives no confidence vote

In an eventful day in Parliament, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete did not vote in the motion.

President Jacob Zuma answers questions in Parliament on the 11 March 2015. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – President Jacob Zuma has emerged victorious, once again surviving a motion of no confidence in Parliament.

The motion, brought by the Democratic Alliance, saw 198 Members of Parliament voting for Zuma to stay and 177 voting for him to go.

Nine MPs abstained after votes were counted in full view of the chamber.

On Monday, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete announced that the motion would be by secret ballot.

“I, therefore, determine that voting on the motion of no confidence in the President on 8 August 2017 will be by secret ballot.”

Opposition parties had wanted a secret ballot to protect African National Congress (ANC) members from any retribution if they vote against the president.

In an eventful Tuesday in Parliament, Mbete did not participate in the motion.

Freedom Front Plus Chief Whip Corne Mulder challenged Mbete as to why she was not voting.

It was explained that Section 53 of the Constitution sets down that whoever presides over a meeting of the National Assembly does not cast a deliberative vote except where a two-thirds majority is required.

However, Mbete would have been required to make a casting vote if the outcome was equally split between those for and against.

“These lawyers here in front of me, who are my assistants, are very determined that that’s how we’ve always interpreted this section and that is that, unless there is need to do a casting vote when there is an equal number [of votes] in the house, then I will have to exercise that casting vote. And that’s how we’ve always interpreted it.”

WATCH: MPs vote on motion of no confidence in Zuma