The youth league of the ruling African national Congress (ANCYL) have charged the party’s national executive Council (NEC) to institute disciplinary action against former presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe for further deepening the rift within the party.
The Free State ANCYL made this request on Tuesday saying the two former top leaders who should be helping the party to solve its internal crisis, were found guilty of further tearing the party apart and supporting moves for members to go against party rules.
This special request comes after comments by the two top leaders where they both charged the ANC MPs to put the interest of the citizens first before that of the party during the motion of no confidence in Zuma.
Motlanthe has in the recent past attacked the ruling ANC and the party leader President Jacob Zuma blaming them for destroying the nation’s democracy through massive corruption and self-service.
Recently, the ANC senior official who served as president from September 2008 to May 2009, criticized Zuma following his decision last week to fire Pravin Gordhan as finance minister and make sweeping changes to his cabinet.
He said Zuma doesn’t understand how his actions can influence decisions by rating companies, and his actions showed a ‘recklessness’ that ruined South Africa’s credibility.
He, like most other top party officials, called for Zuma to step down for the interest of the country.
Similarly, former President Thabo Mbeki launched what seems like an attack on Zuma and his public supporters when he reminded politicians, including the President that they were elected by the citizens and as such, should prioritize the interest of the people first before their personal or political interest.
He also reminded MPs, particularly those from the ANC that they were accountable to South African Citizens and must, therefore, serve the public and not the governing party.
“It is obvious and logical that lawmakers must act in parliament as the voice of the people, not the voice of the political parties to which they belong.”
“It may be that the current controversy has‚ at last, imposed on our country the opportunity and obligation the better to define the constitutional and moral relationship between the people and their elected representatives,” he said in the article published by The Star daily ahead of the motion of no confidence meant to hold on April 18.
Reacting to words by both Mbeki and Motlanthe, ANCYL spokesperson Sello Pietersen said top officials should not tell ANC MPs to vote against President Jacob Zuma in the National Assembly’s debate of a motion of no confidence in Zuma next Tuesday.
“It is irresponsible and ill-disciplined for them to say that. It is worse coming from senior members,” he said as he accused Mbeki of being opportunistic and sowing divisions in the ANC when his wisdom was needed the most.
The ANC MPs had however vowed to vote against the motion even as opposition parties had said they would vote for it and appealed to ANC MPs to do the same.
The UDM has also gained access from the constitutional court to debate for a secret ballot system to be used during the parliamentary voting.
The motion followed Zuma’s controversial Cabinet reshuffle on March 30. He appointed 10 new ministers and 10 new deputy ministers. Those he sacked included finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas.
This led to the country’s credit ratings being downgraded to junk status by Fitch, and Standard & Poor’s.