Today is the day the Members of Parliament will have their say on whether President Jacob Zuma stays or goes and if the ANC veterans’ open letter to them is anything to go by, the ruling party is ready to vote with their conscience.
The African National Congress veterans welcomed the decision to allow members of Parliament to vote via secret ballot on a motion of no confidence against the president.
While the open letter to ANC MPs‚ does not exactly try to influence how they vote, the veterans hinted that removing Zuma would mean dealing with “gross abuses” of government, apparently referring to the many charges brought against the president.
Here’s the full text of ANC veterans’ open letter to MPs ahead of secret ballot:
As Stalwarts and Veterans of the African National Congress we should be grateful if you would take some time to read this letter before you cast your vote tomorrow‚ Tuesday‚ 8th August.
The decision of the Speaker of Parliament to hold a secret ballot is a rational one. Although‚ the Constitution is silent on the matter‚ as the vote for a new President is by secret ballot it is reasonable that any vote of confidence should also follow the same process. It is also aligned with the recent Constitutional Court ruling‚ which whilst mindful of the separation of powers was a powerful reminder of the oath that you took on entering Parliament.
As ANC Members of Parliament, you have shown a commitment to oversight and scrutiny of the Members of the Executive and senior members of the administration‚ which has shown our members and supporters that there is an emerging commitment to confront the gross abuses that are clear to everyone who is prepared to see. This welcome approach has served to expose our people to the possibilities of how a properly functioning parliament can protect their interests against the rapacious behaviour of those holding public office.
If the motion of no confidence succeeds, Zuma and his cabinet will be dissolved and the speaker of the House, Baleka Mbete will become the acting president until a new president is elected. All these must happen within thirty days.