South African ruling party defeats vote against president

By CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA - Associated Press 02 March 2016, 12:00AM

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa's ruling party defeated a no-confidence vote Tuesday against President Jacob Zuma, who also faced a court challenge from an opposition party that wants corruption charges reinstated against him.

The parliamentary motion against Zuma followed increasing criticism of the president on a range of issues, including a scandal over millions of dollars in state spending on his private home. The ruling African National Congress, which has a majority in parliament, defeated the motion brought by the Democratic Alliance, the biggest opposition party.

Before the vote, opposition leader Mmusi Maimane described Zuma as a "sellout," using a term that ruling party lawmakers have often used against Maimane, the first black leader of the Democratic Alliance. The opposition party's roots lie in white liberal opposition to apartheid, the system of white minority rule that ended in 1994, and it has sought broader representation in South Africa's black-majority population.

Ruling party lawmakers countered that the opposition was seeking to oust Zuma in a no-confidence vote because it had failed to win power through a national election.

Separately, the opposition argued in a Pretoria court that prosecutors were wrong to drop fraud and other charges against Zuma in 2009, which set the stage for him to be sworn in as president soon afterward.

Zuma's office has said the decision by the National Prosecuting Authority to drop the charges was sound and efforts to revive the case are politically motivated.

By CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA - Associated Press 02 March 2016, 12:00AM

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