South Africa's Jacob Zuma today survived a no-confidence vote in the parliament against his embattled presidency, despite widespread divisions within the ruling ANC party and growing anger over alleged corruption. Of the 384 votes cast in the 400-member parliament this evening, 198 were against the motion and 177 in favour of it. It was the eighth time in the past seven years that Zuma faced a no-confidence motion, but the debate today was different in that some of his own African National Congress (ANC) voted for the motion together with opposition parties. With a large majority in the parliament, the ANC has repeatedly outvoted the opposition in previous motions, but this time round a number of ANC members had indicated that they would support the opposition because of Zuma's alleged involvement in corrupt activities and state capture. But the motion failed to secure the support of the 50 ANC members required for it to succeed. There have been huge tensions within the factions of the ANC for months amid huge public protests calling for Zuma's removal. Several ANC members of parliament who publicly stated that they would vote with the opposition for Zuma's removal received death threats, while others had said that they would vote with their conscience on the day. ANC leaders said any member who voted for the motion would be disciplined, prompting the call for a secret ballot to avoid such action and intimidation. Across the country, there were huge marches and protests as the elected leaders debated the issue of Zuma's removal. While most marches were organised by a civil society coalition calling for Zuma's removal, there were a few in support of Zuma as well, with violence erupting in a few areas. Opposition parties and the Future South Africa coalition of social, religious and community organisations have vowed to intensify their battle to get Zuma recalled by the ANC.
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