- Thomson Reuters
South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma survived an impeachment vote on Tuesday.
South Africa’s parliament ultimately voted to not impeach the president by 233 votes to 143, despite the country’s highest court ruling against him last week, according to BBC.
The rand was weaker by 2.4% to 15.1412 per dollar right after the announcement crossed wires, erasing some of the gains in the past week.
Last Thursday, the highest court in South Africa ruled that Zuma didn’t uphold the constitution after he failed to repay about $16 million in government money he used to upgrade his private home.
Ahead of the impeachment vote, Capital Economics’ John Ashbourne argued that this impeachment attempt was extremely likely to fail, but “efforts to oust the president will continue, potentially distracting political attention from South Africa’s economic situation.”
“The controversies surrounding Mr. Zuma’s scandal-wracked presidency will probably continue for some time yet. This will erode South Africa’s reputation among investors and reduce the government’s ability to push for vital reforms,” he argued, again ahead of the vote.
“And a multi-year ‘Jacob Zuma show’ would distract political attention from the country’s pressing economic challenges,” he added.
Plus, with Zuma remaining at the helm, the markets could see yet another disruptive political surprise, such as Zuma’s cabinet shuffle in December 2015, after which the rand slid 8% against the dollar.
In short, “the Zuma saga is far from over,” Ashbourne concluded.