The motion to impeach President Jacob Zuma was rejected in the National Assembly on Tuesday.
Political parties debated the motion, brought by DA leader Mmusi Maimane, who called for an ad hoc committee to be set up to probe Zuma’s fitness to hold office.
The DA believed the executive, under the leadership of Zuma, had undermined the rule of law and the Constitution when it did not arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in June.
There were 100 votes for the motion, 211 against it and 17 abstentions on Tuesday.
“The motion as it appears on the order papers… is thus rejected,” house chairperson Cedric Frolick said following the count of the votes.
During the debate, Maimane once again called Zuma a “broken man”.
“This government officially abandoned Nelson Mandela’s commitment to a human rights based foreign policy on June 15 2015,” he said in a copy of his speech to be delivered during the debate.
“That was the day that [Sudanese President] Omar al-Bashir was smuggled away from South African soil in defiance of an order of the North Gauteng High Court.”
Maimane said it was an escape “aided and abetted” by Zuma.
“Madam Speaker, on June 15 2015, our broken president broke the law to protect another broken man.”
Government is appealing the High Court in Pretoria’s ruling, handed down on June 15, that it had to detain Bashir while he was still in South Africa for a two-day African Union summit, and that its failure to do so was unconstitutional.
Bashir left from Air Force Base Waterkloof on the morning the high court handed down its order for the government to arrest him.
He is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to stand trial on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in Darfur.
South Africa is a signatory to the ICC’s Rome Statute, and by being so, had a duty to arrest Bashir and hand him over to the court.
The DA’s motion was supported by the EFF, the IFP, the NFP, the ACDP and the FF Plus.
The ANC, UDM and APC did not support the motion.
Deputy Justice Minister John Jeffery during the debate called Maimane a “hollow man presiding over a hollow party”.
ANC MP Jackson Mthembu said Zuma continued to be abused by the National Assembly.
“His office and person continues to be abused by this house. The al-Bashir matter is not a President Zuma matter. It was government which was brought before the South Gauteng High Court… it is our government which is appealing the judgment,” he said.
Mthembu accused Maimane of playing the man and not the politics.
He said this was because the DA leader was starting to follow the “gutter politics” of the EFF.