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South Africa’s Zuma faces second no-confidence vote over economy

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Tuesday, March 1st, 2016
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South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma faced his second no-confidence vote in a year on Tuesday over what the opposition Democratic Alliance called his reckless handling of the economy.

Zuma is likely to survive the vote, as he did in March last year, thanks to the support of ruling African National Congress (ANC) lawmakers, who control almost two thirds of the assembly.

But protests have been growing outside parliament, particularly after the sudden firing of finance minister Nhlanhla Nene in December that triggered a market sell-off.

“South Africans demand that Jacob Zuma be taken to task for his reckless handling of our economy, and his sending South Africa into financial crisis,” Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane said on the party website.

“This motion is about the 8.2 million South Africans who will never find a job as long as President Jacob Zuma has one,” he added.

The unemployment rate stands at close to 25 percent, while Treasury forecasts last week suggested the economy may expand just 0.9 percent in 2016, the lowest rate since South Africa emerged from recession in 2009.

The ANC dismissed what it called “the frivolous antics of the DA cloaked as democracy” in a message on its Twitter feed.

The no-confidence debate was scheduled to start at 1200 GMT.

(Reporting by Wendell Roelf; Writing by James Macharia; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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