Jacob Zuma has survived yet another motion of no confidence after the much anticipated motion by secret ballot was debated today in parliament. The motion came after a turbulent period following a cabinet reshuffle and a subsequent downgrade of the economy to junk status.
The vote was close with 177 voting for the motion, 198 voting against the motion and 9 abstentions.
The motion was led by the United Democratic Movement (UDM), the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). Other opposition parties also voiced their support during the debate in parliament.
At the first motion of no confidence held by secret ballot in the history of the democratic South Africa, opposition leaders raised their voices to call for the removal of President Jacob Zuma.
A number of members from the ANC defended the party, following a circular argument that an attack against Zuma is an attack against the ANC. Many of the points put forward by the ANC Deputy Chief whip Dorris Dlakude pointed to the belief that the true motive behind the vote of no confidence was regime change.
Pule Mabe, the only ANC MP to actually mention President Zuma, went so far as to insinuate that the motion of no confidence was an attempted coup.
Art and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa claimed that the opposition were directly challenging democracy and that the motion of confidence was founded on fake news. He also said that this motion of no confidence was equivalent to a coup d’etat.
Minister of Defence Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula took the the podium, making many similar arguments from previous ANC speakers, and was constantly disrupted by members of the EFF.
Mmusi Maimane pushed across the point that in calling for a motion of no confidence against Zuma they were not calling for regime change but rather for the removal of the President. He asks the MPs to “vote for hope”.
Another speaker from the DA, Phumzile van Damme, pleaded to the ANC not to disappoint the members of the country again. She urged them to think about the South Africans who struggle to survive every day. She said that no president who has stolen the people’s money and violated the constitution should be defended by the house.
In his capacity as leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters, Julius Malema thanked Baleka Mbete for going against the officials of the ANC when she allowed a secret ballot to take place. He reiterated that the goal of the motion of no confidence was not to remove the ANC but to “remove the father of Duduzane”.
Other opposition leaders who spoke include the IFP’s Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the NFP’s Nhlanhlakayise Khubisa, the UDM’s Bantu Holomisa, the FF Plus’ Pieter Groenewald, Mosiuoa Lekota from Cope, the ACDP’s leader Kenneth Meshoe, the AIC’s Mandlenkosi Phillip Galo and Andries Molapi Tlouamma from Agang. – Dalaine Krige