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Zuma Impeachment Bid Fails in South Africa


FILE - South African President Jacob Zuma, center, gathers with delegates at the opening session of the AU summit in Johannesburg, June 14, 2015.

FILE - South African President Jacob Zuma, center, gathers with delegates at the opening session of the AU summit in Johannesburg, June 14, 2015.

A motion to impeach South African President Jacob Zuma failed to get through the country’s parliament on Tuesday. This was the second time this year that the opposition Democratic Alliance failed to oust the president, who they accuse of violating the constitution.

The debate began with Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane accusing the president of failing to uphold the constitution when he allowed Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to leave the country, despite a court order to prevent his departure.

"When President Jacob Zuma helped a mass murderer escape justice, he ultimately violated this constitution, so ladies and gentlemen, honorable members vote to impeach President Jacob Zuma, this broken man," said Maimane.

The ruling African National Congress party rejected the motion, describing it as baseless and attention-seeking.

ANC lawmaker Lindiwe Zulu argued that Sudan's president was granted diplomatic immunity like all heads of state who attended the African Union summit in Johannesburg back in June.

"The African National Congress will not support this motion. It is aimed at undermining the political, the economic and diplomatic relations of South Africa with the AU member states," said Zulu.

Other opposition parties had mixed views, with some supporting the decision and others rejecting it.

Once a deadlock was declared, the speaker decided to put the matter to a vote, and once again, Zuma emerged victorious. "Those in favor - 100. Those against - 211. There are 17 abstentions and the motion is thus rejected."

The Democratic Alliance has been sharply critical of Zuma and the ANC for alleged corruption and failing to deliver basic services to ordinary South Africans.

The party brought a vote of no confidence against the president in March, but that motion also failed.

The DA says the motions have succeeded in putting a spotlight on what the party calls Zuma's misrule.

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