South African President Jacob Zuma has survived the eighth no-confidence vote in parliament in his chequered tenure, which began in 2009.
He received 198 votes in support, while the coalition of opposition groups could only muster 177. There were nine abstentions.
As the secret ballot was going on a series of protests took place around the country, and a petition with a million signatures calling for him to go was handed in to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who many believe is Zuma’s main rival for the top job.
The 75-year-old has, among many other alleged irregularities, been accused of getting far too close to Indian business family the Guptas, who have been implicated in a string of corruption scandals involving government agencies and state-owned companies. Zuma will have noted that a significant number of the ANC’s 249 members of parliament did not back him.
His term as the president of the governing ANC, which has ruled the country ever since white rule was ended in 1993, comes to an end this year. He is lobbying hard to ensure his ex-wife gets the job. His presidency ends in 2019, and the constitution does not allow him to run again.