With a million South Africans demanding his removal, a secret ballot of no confidence could finally catch up with the ANC leader
Jacob Zuma, the Houdini of South African politics, has wriggled free from numerous attempts to oust him since becoming president in 2009. But persistent allegations of corruption, nepotism and abuse of power may finally be catching up with him as his enemies in the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and the opposition parties prepare to mount a vote of no confidence in parliament on Tuesday.
The showdown is especially dangerous for Zuma because it follows a court ruling in June allowing the speaker of the national assembly, Baleka Mbete, to hold a secret ballot. Mbete, a Zuma ally who survived an attempt in 2014 to sack her for alleged bias, has yet to indicate whether she will do so. But if the vote is held “in camera”, at least 20 ANC MPs critical of Zuma’s leadership are expected to back the motion.