South Africa’s parliament is to debate a vote of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma amid growing calls for him to resign.
An anti-corruption probe last week raised allegations of misconduct against Mr Zuma. But the ruling African National Congress (ANC) has said the motion ‘has no chance of succeeding’.
This is the third time in less than a year the president is facing a no confidence vote.
An investigation by the country’s anti-corruption watchdog said a judicial inquiry should be set up to further investigate allegations of criminal activity in Mr Zuma’s government.
The investigation found evidence that the Guptas, a business family with links to Mr Zuma, may have wielded undue political influence over the appointment of ministers.
Both Mr Zuma and the Guptas have denied any wrongdoing.
There have been a number of recent attempts by opposition parties to have Mr Zuma removed from the highest office but all have failed.
Several ANC stalwarts and members of Mr Zuma’s government have called on him to resign following the release of a report by former public protector Thuli Mandosela into allegations of corrupt relations between his loyalists and the wealthy Gupta family.
Analysts have always said that the decision to sack Mr Zuma would need to come from the ANC itself and for that to happen, certain processes would need to be followed.
These include consensus from the ANC branches around the country and even a party congress where a new candidate would be put forward.
The ANC is simply not united or even organised enough at the moment to successfully bring together all its members.
There are too many factions and none of them have the support of the masses, except one man.
So in the midst of the chaos, Mr Zuma who might be concerned about the rumblings within his party, knows he is still ahead of the pack.
The main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) brought the motion, accusing Mr Zuma of wreaking ‘havoc on our infant democracy’.
“President Zuma’s brand of corruption, economic mismanagement and lies can no longer continue to exist alongside the project of building a better South Africa,” the party said in a statement.
Mr Zuma seems to have lost support of some members of his party who have joined calls for him to leave office.
Last month, the chief whip of the Mr Zuma’s party, Jackson Mthembu, called on the entire leadership to step down.
“When I said the entire ANC leadership that has already taken collective responsibility must take the fall, I meant everybody, myself included, including President Zuma,” Mr Mthembu said.
The ANC, which led the fight against white minority rule and has been in power since 1994, has a huge majority in parliament and easily prevented two previous votes of no confidence brought against the president. But calls for the president to quit have been described as ‘premature’ by ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe who said the report had not found anyone guilty.
Earlier this year, the Constitutional Court ruled that Mr Zuma had breached the country’s constitution by refusing to repay government money spent on his private home in rural Nkandla.
This followed another report by the anti-corruption watchdog.
The DA also tabled a motion of no confidence in him then but it was defeated by 225 votes to 99, with 22 abstentions.