"The ANC under President Jacob Zuma does not hold the mandate of the people anymore".
But, according to BBC, the result does show that at least 26 ANC members voted against Zuma and nine ANC parliamentarians abstained. "They will realize in 2019 when we win in a big number once again". He said this vote was not about political parties, but about the people of South Africa.
"Our choice is between right and wrong, between good and evil".
A 201-vote majority would be needed to have him removed from office, and the ANC holds 249 seats in the 400-seat parliament.
Speaker Baleka Mbete announced that 177 MPs voted in favour of the motion and 198 against it.
The 75-year old president, whose administration has been beset by corruption allegations, said in June that a secret ballot would be unfair.
South Africa continues to lead the democratic banner with their parliament freely debating the no confidence motion against under fire President Jacob Zuma. The change we need, and the new beginning we all want, will not come from an ANC elective conference in December.
Zuma had survived six previous attempts to unseat him in parliament, but this was the first to be held by secret ballot.
In all, there were 238 members of Zuma's party present in Parliament.
But ANC officials and most analysts had predicted that the president would survive the vote given the party's large parliamentary majority. "Today, we either do what is best for our country or we turn our back on it", he said.
"Zuma knows that the vote would be tight".
The DA's chief whip, John Steenhuisen said, in an interview with Bloomberg, that "breakaways, abstentions, and failures to pitch on the day" would make it hard for the opposition to secure enough numbers to remove Zuma from office.
He is also fighting a court order that could reinstate nearly 800 corruption charges against him over a multi-billion dollar arms deal in the 1990s.