Zuma survives, but grabbing his worry beads as one-in-six ANC MPs reject party line.

By Alec Hogg 

Yesterday’s vote of No Confidence in South Africa’s corrupted president Jacob Zuma might have failed – but it certainly was a step in the right direction.

In all, there were 238 members of Zuma’s party present in Parliament. The official pro-Zuma vote came in at 198, which means 40 ANC members of Parliament did not act as instructed. It may have been even higher as there are half a dozen seats held by ANC-friendly “opposition”.

It is progress. But not enough for the Rand to avoid a post-vote drubbing. It started falling before the official result was announced, and within minutes had lost 30c against both the US Dollar (to R13.40) and Sterling (R17.40).

Zuma will claim a new lucky number – he did after all win his 8th no confidence challenge on the 8th day of the 8th month. But hindsight may reveal it was the opposition parties who really won yesterday. Splits in an autocratic dyke quickly widen into torrents. With one-in-six ANC MPs voting against the party, there’s now, officially, quite a crack.