UPDATE: Zuma Escapes Impeachment Vote, Suffers Ridicule From Trevor Noah

Charles Ayitey April 06, 2016

South African President Jacob Zuma escaped possible impeachment by parliament yesterday, despite last week’s court ruling against him in connection to his misuse of government funds. In what turned out to be a dramatic event on the floor of parliament, the governing African National Congress (ANC) voted down the impeachment motion with 233 votes against the 143 votes from the minority. Zuma’s defenders argued that he was ”not guilty of serious misconduct”, attracting counterarguments from the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) who described Zuma as a “crooked” president unfit to govern.

Meanwhile the controversy surrounding Zuma has attracted full-blown ridicule from South African comedian Trevor Noah, who took a swipe at the embattled president on his late night show on Tuesday. The segment highlighted several corruption allegations Zuma has faced in the past, including a well-known clip of the 73 year-old struggling to recite a six-figure number.

The controversial Nkandla project, which began in May 2009 with a total projected cost of a modest R27 million but tripled in price by March 2010, has seen the South African president in and out of court on several occasions as he sought to set the records straight on the matter. As reported previously on this site:

President Zuma has been severely criticized for spending about $23m (£13.8m) of taxpayers’ money on the upgrade of his rural home, popularly referred to as the Nkandla project. Earlier, government had insisted that the upgrades were purely for security reasons. That argument attracted heightened criticism due to the plush amphitheater, cattle enclosure and swimming pool cited as part of the project. The public protector, an anti-corruption body, ruled in 2014 that $23m (£15m) of public money had been improperly spent on President Zuma’s rural home in Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal province, thus ordering him to reimburse part of the expenses.

After losing the legal battle late last week, Zuma rendered an apology to the people of South Africa.

Last Edited by:Sandra Appiah Updated: June 19, 2018


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