However, the lack of defiance is hardly surprising, according to Fletcher.

“We never believed it (a no confidence vote) was very likely,” Fletcher said of Control Risk’s house view. “Although there are a lot of ANC MPs (members of parliament) who are not happy, they were never likely to vote en masse for a proposition put forward by the opposition.”

The ANC, which has remained in power throughout post-apartheid South Africa, originally under the leadership of Nelson Mandela, presents itself as a movement and the country’s only legitimate option. To vote in favor of an opposition movement would be seen as recognizing that party as legitimate.

But, the outcome could allow for greater party divisions further down the line, Fletcher posits.

“It does not make sense to overthrow Zuma now – get rid of Zuma now and that throws leadership bids up in the air,” he said.

“But the party certainly knows how to exert itself,” Fletcher continued, saying that once a new leader is in place there becomes a “very credible possibility” that Zuma does not last out until 2019.