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S. Africa leader faces no-confidence bid

JOHANNESBURG — Opposition parties submitted a motion of no confidence on Thursday against President Jacob Zuma, saying that corruption and unemployment have risen, the justice system has been politicized, and the economy has weakened.

The motion, backed by eight opposition parties, was triggered by a violent strike at a platinum mine that killed 46 people, the downgrading of South Africa’s credit rating by two major agencies, and big spending of state funds on Zuma’s rural residence, according to a joint statement by the parties.

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Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko brought the motion forward in the National Assembly.

The ANC’s office of the chief whip called the motion ‘‘a desperate, if not silly, publicity stunt by a group of attention-seeking opposition leaders . . . is not based on any fact or evidence, and therefore amounts to nothing but character assassination.’’

The no-confidence motion was backed by the African Christian Democratic Party, the Azanian People’s Organization, the Congress of the People, the Democratic Alliance, the Freedom Front Plus, the Inkatha Freedom Party, the United Christian Democratic Party, and the United Democratic Movement.

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