08/08/2017 18:45 SAST | Updated 08/08/2017 18:54 SAST

The President With Many Lives: Zuma Survives Motion Of No Confidence

Six votes of no confidence in nine years -- he's survived them all.

President Jacob Zuma has survived another vote of no confidence, defeating an opposition-led motion to have him removed as state president.

The final tally of votes is as follows:
Yes: 177

No: 198
Abstain: 9

This is the highest number of votes in favour of the president's removal out of all confidence motions against the president. Previous votes garnered 113, 99, 126 and 143 'yes' votes respectively.

The ANC in recent days had warned its MPs it would not tolerate deliberate flouting of the party's decision to keep Zuma in office. ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu on Friday said voting to remove the president would be tantamount to "dropping a nuclear bomb on the country", causing deep political and economic uncertainty.

The leader of the official opposition, Mmusi Maimane, earlier on Tuesday urged ANC MPs to "vote with their conscience" given Parliamentary Speaker Baleka Mbete's decision to determine the outcome through a secret ballot.The latest failed vote of no confidence followed many months of lobbying by opposition parties and civil society groups to have the president deposed, which intensified following alleged revelations of state capture contained in the leaked Gupta emails.

"Today is a historic day. South Africa faces a choice between corruption and a prosperous South Africa. As life is getting hard for our people, it is important that we put South Africans first."