Opposition parties interpreted the result of the motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma as a sign that the tide is turning against the ruling party (ANC).
EFF leader Julius Malema said the results of the vote on the motion proves that democracy is still working in the society.
“We have had seven motions of no confidence before where we have not got one vote.”
He said even the nine abstentions speaks volumes.
“When your own people abstain instead of voting for you‚ they are passing a motion of no confidence in you.”
In his speech to the media after the motion, Malema said: “It’s clear the tide is turning towards the opposition. This is a big elephant. We said we are going to eat it piece by piece and the results are showing.”
The motion was defeated after 198 MPs voted against it, while 177 voted for Zuma to go – with nine abstentions.
The voting on the motion of no confidence in Zuma was held through a secret ballot in Parliament. The outcome of the secret voting revealed that 40 ANC MPs rebelled against the ruling party.
Consequently, DA leader Mmusi Maimane applauded the “courageous people” of the ANC who had voted against Zuma.
Though he was disappointed that the motion did not carry‚ he believed that the outcome was good. He said it was a sign that Zuma should resign as his own caucus had been shown to be divided.
Speaking to ANC supporters outside the Parliament shortly after the results were announced‚ police minister Fikile Mbalula said they are strongly behind Zuma.
“Asijiki‚ we are not going to be told Zuma must – if he must go he will be removed by us as the ANC.
“We have defeated the useless motion. We can’t dance to Mmusi Maimane and all the small boys and girls. People who vote with the motion are suicide bombers.”
ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu expressed disappointment that certain members rebelled against the party but said his focus was not on the numbers but on the victory on the motion.
“To us, that’s the most important thing and the ANC has never been an organization that’s punitive. we were confident that we’re going to defeat this thing.
“Yes‚ there might be some members of the ANC who might have voted with the opposition but for now the most important aspect is that this vote of no confidence has been defeated. The ANC MPs have not sold out to the DA or the opposition. ANC MPs have defended the ANC‚ we have refused to embolden the opposition.
In other words, it doesn’t matter that some members turned against them, instead, the party is ready to reclaim its position as the leader of the society.