Today’s Motion of No Confidence result is closer than anyone expected. The result reveals an ANC that is totally divided against itself. Jacob Zuma has survived, but he has nothing to celebrate tonight. He is mortally wounded, and his party is in tatters. Tonight’s result, despite the slender victory, signals the death of the ANC.
The brave ANC members that voted to defend our democracy today should realise that their home no longer resides in the ANC but in becoming part of the movement for the new beginning. That beginning starts now.
It’s time for a new beginning that will bring total change in South Africa. Today’s result is not a cause for despair. It should serve as motivation to South Africans to organise, get involved and help build a new government in 2019. That is the only way we can achieve the new beginning we need!
The outcome of the Motion of No Confidence illustrates what South Africans already know; the ANC cannot self-correct. The ANC still supports Zuma, because he is not an anomaly within the ANC, he is the norm. Jacob Zuma is the manifestation of what the ANC has become – a toxic mix of corruption, cronyism and nepotism.
The only way to stop the decay and get our country moving forward again is to remove the ANC.
Despite some ANC members of Parliament speaking out before the Motion today, the party machinery made it abundantly clear that in their organisation there is a complete disregard for what is right – it is about putting Luthuli House above the Constitution.
This is also not the end of the road for Jacob Zuma. He still has 783 charges of fraud, corruption and racketeering to answer for and we will see him in the Supreme Court of Appeal on the 14th and 15th of September to argue that both of his appeals should be dismissed.
As proud South Africans, we must remain hopeful. This is not the end for our young democracy – it’s simply the end of the ANC. South Africa is now truly on the cusp of a new beginning. And our new beginning lies in a post-ANC South Africa.
Come 2019, all South Africans have the constitutional right to change the status quo and usher in a new beginning – a post-ANC coalition-led government that puts the people and their interests first.
The DA will continue its project of building a new beginning for South Africa – a united, democratic and non-racial South Africa that is prosperous and reclaims its role as a beacon of hope on the continent.
The Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, has replied to my request to expedite her decision on whether the DA’s Motion of No Confidence in President Jacob Zuma, scheduled for 8 August 2017, should proceed via secret ballot. True to form, she has said nothing of significance.
In her written response, Mbete notes that the Constitutional Court “did not prescribe a specific time-period within which such a decision must be made” and wryly adds that “a decision … will be made and communicated at the earliest opportunity”.
The DA is fully cognisant of the fact that no time-frame was set. Nevertheless, it is incumbent on Mbete to act in the best interest of the Legislature and the Constitution, and avoid unnecessary litigation by parties that may feel that the timing of her decision offers an advantages to her own political party by limiting the rights of other parties to review her decision in time.
Mbete has displayed astonishing arrogance by setting political parties deadlines by which they should forward their view on the secret ballot, but refuses to accept deadlines of her own. Like Marie Antoinette, she wants her cake and eat it too.
There is no reason why Mbete cannot make her decision on the secret ballot now. She should stop playing games and must tell South Africans how their public representative will be voting on 8 August.
The DA has today written to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, to request that she make her decision on whether the DA’s Motion of No Confidence in President Jacob Zuma, scheduled for 8 August 2017, should proceed via secret ballot by the end of this week.
It is our belief that there is no reason why the Speaker cannot apply her mind and duly communicate her decision on the secret ballot by close of business this Friday, 21 July, instead of waiting until a day or two before the vote as Mbete suggested in a recent interview.
On 22 June 2017 the Constitutional Court confirmed what we knew already, that “the Speaker of the National Assembly has the constitutional power to prescribe that voting in a motion of no confidence in the President of the Republic of South Africa be conducted by secret ballot”.
Importantly, her decision must pass the test of rationality.
It is now incumbent on the Speaker, and only the Speaker, to decide if voting on 8 August will proceed via secret ballot. We emphasised this in a letter responding to her curious request for “political parties to submit their views regarding their preferred means of voting”.
Mbete rarely concerns herself with the views of other political parties, or even contrarian views within the ANC. It is disingenuous for her to pretend to care now that she’s been singled out for not doing her job. She cannot shift her responsibility. She, and she alone, must make the decision and it must be rational.
The DA urges Mbete to apply her mind and to rationally decide on the matter of the secret ballot this week. There is no reason why the Speaker should delay her decision any longer.
We also reiterate our call for Mbete to recuse herself from presiding over the debate on the motion of no confidence. The Speaker has a long history of showing bias in her slavish defence of President Zuma, and she is not suitable to preside over this important debate.
Note to Editors: The following joint statement was delivered at a press conference, following a meeting of Opposition Parties in Johannesburg. The meeting was attended by the DA (Mmusi Maimane), EFF (Godrich Gardee and Dali Mpofu), UDM (Bantu Holomisa), COPE (Mosiuoa Lekota), IFP (Mangaqa Mncwango) and ACDP (Kenneth Meshoe).
Today, Monday, 03 April 2017, the Leadership of the DA, EFF, IFP, COPE, UDM, and ACDP met in Johannesburg following the hostile takeover of the Treasury, and selling of the country by Jacob Zuma to a grouping whose only interests are amassing wealth and weakening the State through the theft of the people’s money and the undermining of the country’s Constitution.
These are indeed irregular and trying times for South Africa and the people, which demands a united vision and programme of action from leaders of society, like Opposition Parties represented in the National Assembly. Opposition Parties agreed that the Constitution must come first, and the country must be protected from those who seek to undermine it. We therefore deliberated and agreed upon a number of issues in this regard.
Opposition Programme of Action
This Programme of Action stems from already existing partnerships and other ad hoc co-operation arrangements which exist in the country’s metros and other municipalities, where the Opposition governs for all residents, regardless of their political affiliation. The opposition-led metros serve as important platforms to show what the Opposition can do for the people of South Africa, which present a tangible example of the work that we can do, when we united against corruption, state capture and other ills in society.
Furthermore, we agreed that there is a need for a Summit that brings together Political Parties and Civil Society to discuss the state of South Africa. Going forward, we will at times act collectively and at times as separate political parties, depending on the nature of the issue facing the coutry. Our Programme of Action will be to put the people first, with the vision to build a better South Africa.
National Day of Action to the Union Buildings
It was agreed that as Opposition Parties, we will start the process of mobilising their structures from across the country for a National Day of Action to the Union Buildings. We are planning to have this mass action event as soon as possible.
We will also be engaging Civil Society formations and other Political Parties to mobilise in order to support the people’s National Day of Action to the Union Buildings, so that we are united and not fractured in our call to save our country in the short-term.
We therefore call upon all South Africans and the whole of Civil Society to support this mass action, where will speak with one voice calling for Jacob Zuma to remove himself from the Union Buildings, failing which he will be pushed, using democratic processes. Zuma cannot hold an entire country hostage.
Motion of No Confidence
Opposition Parties are fully behind the Motion of No Confidence in Jacob Zuma and the call for the Speaker of the National Assembly to reconvene the House for a special sitting so that this matter of National Importance can be debated and voted on. The DA and EFF have already asked the Speaker to reconvene Parliament. The UDM have submitted a similar request today.
We expect an urgent answer from the Speaker about progress made in scheduling the Motion, should we not be satisfied with her response, court action, supported by Opposition Parties will be taken.
Given the crisis engulfing our society, we are confident that Members of Parliament will stay true the Constitution and their Oath of Office.
The Motion of No Confidence is not about the removal the ANC. The ANC was voted into government by the majority, through the democratic project, which we respect. In the short-term, we are working to remove Jacob Zuma, and elect someone from the ranks of the National Assembly who is committed to South Africa, the people and the Constitution.
The Opposition support the two court cases which are currently before the Judiciary.
The DA will be submitting papers for a Review Application which seeks to test the legal rationality of Jacob Zuma’s disastrous Cabinet Reshuffle.
The EFF, UDM and COPE are currently before the Constitutional Court to probe the process and duty of Parliament to facilitate the impeachment of the President.
Opposition Party Leaders are united in their call for Zuma to go and our belief in the supremacy of the Constitution. The choice South Africans must make is: Zuma or South Africa. The two cannot co-exist.