6 Apr 2016

South African parliament defeats impeachment motion

10:14 am on 6 April 2016

South Africa's parliament has voted not to impeach President Jacob Zuma, despite a court ruling against him.

South African President Jacob Zuma.

South African President Jacob Zuma. Photo: AFP

The opposition tabled the motion after the country's highest court ruled Mr Zuma had violated the constitution by refusing to repay some of the millions of dollars of public funds spent on his private residence.

After a rowdy debate, the motion was opposed by 233 MPs and the governing African National Congress defeated the motion, saying Mr Zuma was not guilty of "serious misconduct".

It had been backed by 143 from the opposition Democratic Alliance, ANC-breakaway group Economic Freedom Fighters and small parties.

Democratic Alliance opposition leader Mmusi Maimane said the nation's citizens were angry.

"When a president violates the constitution he can be removed by this parliament.

"It was therefore our duty to table this motion because we believe in the rule of law and we will do what is right."

Mr Zuma's governing African National Congress has a large majority in parliament.

The opposition said Mr Zuma was a "crooked" president, not fit to govern.

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