What happens if December's ANC Elective Conference collapses?

As few as 26 ANC MP votes against Zuma could topple his presidency

Five senior MPs and the SACP are expected to vote against JZ, and he could be in real trouble…

What happens if December's ANC Elective Conference collapses?

As early as a month ago, the South African public would have scoffed at the idea that Zuma would even come close to losing his no confidence vote.

It’s deja vu all over again, given that he’s survived this motion on five previous occasions. Optimism even amongst Zuma’s biggest detractors was, at best, wishful thinking.

But momentum can be a funny old thing, can’t it? The closer the vote has gotten, the more supporters the president has lost. His already damaged reputation has taken a battering thanks to state capture allegations and dissent from his own party members.

How many votes to get rid of Zuma?

As it stands, Jacob Zuma could be just 26 votes away from losing the presidency.

The remarkable turnaround has been aided by former backers distancing themselves from Zuma: Already, we have the likes of the SACP – who helped the president get elected and propped up his government – renounce their support for him.

Then we have the high-profile MPs who have been largely critical of JZ’s reign, and are incredibly likely to vote against him: Makhosi Khoza has been Zuma’s fiercest internal opponent, where as Mondli Gungubele has declared he will vote to oust the leader.

Read: These are the five ANC MP’s most likely to vote against Jacob Zuma on Tuesday

The other MPs who have been less direct – but certainly implied their lack of confidence in Zuma – are Cyril Ramaphosa, Lindiwe Sisulu and Derek Hanekom. They have all said they will ‘vote with their conscience’ on Tuesday.

How will Zuma lose the no confidence vote?

Here’s how it all works out…

  • Zuma needs to get 199 votes or more to survive. Currently, there are 249 ANC members elected to parliament, in a total of 400 members.
  • Two MPs have died since this government was formed, and the president is exempt from voting himself. That leaves us with 246 ANC voters.
  • The SACP have 17 MPs in parliament: Should they all toe the party line and vote against JZ, that leaves us with 229 ANC MPs still ‘undecided’.
  • Add into the mix our five ANC rebels, that takes Zuma’s support down to a maximum of 224. To drag him under the 199-mark, a further 26 ANC members would have to vote against him – something that is far from impossible.

The president himself is reportedly ‘relaxed and at ease’ with the impending vote, according to an inside source.

He’ll need to get used to that feeling should the ballot swing against him tomorrow: Unemployment gives you plenty of time to relax, Jacob.