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Protests in South Africa ahead of no-confidence vote against Zuma

Protests in South Africa ahead of no-confidence vote against Zuma

UPDATE: President Zuma has survived yet another motion of no confidence with 198 MPs supporting him and 177 against.

Zuma supporters are also planning to be march and there is a heavy police presence with some in riot gear and equipped with razor wire in case of violence. The no-confidence motion needed 201 votes to succeed.

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

For the first time, the no confidence vote against South Africa's leader was held through secret ballot.

ANC members erupted in cheers as the result of the voting was announced.

Previous attempts in parliament to unseat Zuma over accusations of corruption and cronyism had been carried out through public votes.

The opposition party leader added that Zuma was the embodiment of "what the ANC has become - a toxic mix of corruption, cronyism and nepotism", and that he was a norm within the party, rather than an exception.

Had he lost, he and his entire cabinet would have had to resign. The main candidates appear to be Cyril Ramaphosa, who is now deputy president and is seen as the more pro-business candidate, and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who is in President Zuma's ex-wife and is in Mr. Zuma's more populist camp.

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Divisions between MPs and the party executive "could lead to instability and even open warfare", he said. "Today, we either do what is best for our country or we turn our back on it", he said. The result means at least 26 ANC MPs rebelled, while another nine MPs abstained from voting.

"The ANC is supported by the overwhelming majority", he said, before breaking into song and cracking jokes with the crowd.

Zuma faced a no-confidence vote in the parliament later yesterday in a severe test of the unity of the African National Congress (ANC) party that has ruled since the end of apartheid rule in 1994. In his pitch before the vote, he framed the decision as a choice between good and evil. Vote with your conscience.

The decision to hold the vote came against a background of high levels of unemployment, resentment at South Africa's enduring inequality and economic stagnation.

Malema, addressing parliament, said, "We are not here today to remove a democratically elected government of the ANC, which was voted for by our people in 2014".

It was unclear if they supported Zuma or were demonstrating against his administration, reports Efe news.

The South African economy is in recession and two ratings agencies have downgraded South Africa to junk status, because of concerns over political instability.