Motion to impeach South African President Zuma defeated

Updated: 2016-04-06 09:08


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Motion to impeach South African President Zuma defeated

A general view of South Africa's Parliament in Cape Town is seen during a motion to impeach President Jacob Zuma, April 5, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

CAPE TOWN - A motion to impeach South African President Jacob Zuma, proposed by the opposition, was defeated in parliament on Tuesday.

The motion received 143 votes in favour and 233 against, with no abstentions.

The result had been expected as Zuma's ruling African National Congress (ANC) party has a large majority in parliament.

The motion came after South Africa's highest court ruled last week that Zuma violated the constitution by ignoring orders for him to repay part of the public money used to upgrade his private home.

A debate ended in chaos as opposition MPs walked out of parliament in defiance of the result.

Mmusi Maimane, leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) said: "We are far from finished on this matter."

He said the opposition would write to Parliament Speaker Baleka Mbete to ask for "disciplinary process" against Zuma.

Juliu Malema, leader of another opposition party, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), said that even after the court ruling, "no single individual has been held accountable".

The opposition vowed to forge a united front to push for the removal of Zuma.

A two-thirds majority -- 267 MPs out of 400 -- was needed for the motion to pass.

The ANC has 249 MPs in parliament, the National Assembly, while opposition parties have 151 seats.

The opposition had requested a secret ballot, but the demand was rejected.

It is the third time in 13 months that Zuma has survived a motion of impeachment.

Zuma apologized to the nation on Friday for the "frustration and confusion" caused by his home upgrade scandal. He said he would abide by the ruling and repay the money.

The ANC party has vowed "full support" to Zuma.

The opposition has long accused Zuma of alleged corruption and incompetence, with parliament often being marred by squabbles.