Tuesday, 04 April 2017 04:22

Opposition dares ANC MPs to vote for Zuma to go

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Opposition parties on Monday challenged ANC MPs to vote with their conscience and remove President Jacob Zuma during a proposed motion of no confidence.

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DA leader Mmusi Maimane said the motion was not about regime change, but about removing Zuma.

“We want someone who will uphold the Constitution,” he told reporters following a meeting between the DA, EFF, Cope, UDM, and IFP.

They discussed their response to Zuma’s Cabinet reshuffle on Thursday. He fired 5 ministers including finance minister Pravin Gordhan and changed portfolios of several other ministers  and deputy ministers.  

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said if those ANC MPs who were also SACP members voted against the motion, they would be hypocrites after they initially called for Zuma to step down.

Maimane said there would be consultation with parties before a new leader was elected, and that they would be willing to back an ANC candidate to replace Zuma. He hinted at the possibility of court action should National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete not grant them a date to debate the motion.

The parties called on civil society and South Africans to support a protest to Union Buildings next Wednesday.

They were united in calling for an urgent sitting of the National Assembly to debate the motion of no confidence.

'Herd of cattle'

They parties dared ANC MPs to vote with their conscience and not toe the party line this time.

Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota said MPs had a duty to return the country to constitutionalism. He urged them to follow their conscience and said they had to live with the consequence of their votes.

“You cannot vote like herd of cattle,” he said.

All previous motions of confidence in Zuma had failed.

EFF chairperson Dali Mpofu said the opposition together represented at least six million voters.

Meanwhile, there was speculation that the ANC would call for a special national executive committee meeting ahead of the vote of no confidence.

The party’s national working committee met on Monday amid deepening divisions over Zuma’s reshuffle.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, secretary general Gwede Mantashe and treasurer Zweli Mkhize had all spoken out against the reshuffle.

The ANCYL, the party’s military veterans, and Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza all expressed support for Zuma.

Last modified on Tuesday, 04 April 2017 04:31