Ahead of a vote of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma, the African National Congress (ANC) in the eThekwini region has warned five of its seven members deployed to Parliament to toe the party’s line or face being recalled.
ANC regional secretary Bheki Ntuli, on Wednesday, gave this directive while speaking during a regional executive committee media briefing in Durban.
Ntuli stressed that the region will not hesitate to recall those who would vote with opposition parties against Zuma, adding that he views the motion as an act of stupidity and a waste of resources and time by reckless opposition groups.
The regional secretary buttressed: “The intention of the motion is only to cast aspersions and innuendos on the ANC and integrity of the person of the President. The President is a strategic hill [sic] and targeting him as the head of the organization is intended to destroy the ANC. We call upon all eThekwini region MPs into the national parliament to rebuff this counter-revolutionary agenda and attempts at regime change by political stealth.”
Ntuli particularly made mention of ANC MP Makhosi Khoza‚ who slammed the ruling on Facebook on April 10 saying the sanity of the ruling party has been claimed by the politics of patronage.
Khoza wrote: “Politics of patronage has finally claimed the sanity of my ANC leadership. A triumphant story has turned tragic in my lifetime. The ANC is defining itself out of power when the majority of its people remain trapped in poverty‚ joblessness‚ dependency on state social grants.”
Other regional ANC MPs from eThekwini region deployed to the parliament are Bheki Cele and Mina Lesoma. Both were charged to reject the convoluted attempt to paint them as a loose group of individuals with no political home.
Ntuli boasted that the ANC has severally defeated the enemies of change in every election since 1994‚ and will continue to frustrate their efforts to thwart and cause chaos in the society.
The planned motion of no confidence in President Zuma was tabled by opposition groups, spearheaded by the Democratic Alliance (DA) and left-wing party – Economic Freedom Fighters.
In South Africa, motions of no confidence are constitutional motions under Section 102 of the Constitution.
The section stipulates that “If the National Assembly, by a vote supported by a majority of its members, passes a motion of no confidence in the President, the President and the other members of the Cabinet and any Deputy Ministers must resign.”
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Last year, the ANC won two motions of no confidence on the back of its numbers in the House. On March 1, 2016, the motion was defeated 225 votes against, 99 for, with 22 abstentions while on November 10, 2016, 214 voted against, 126 for and one abstention.
Likewise, if this year’s motion must sail through, it requires the support of at least 201 MPs. The National Assembly is made up of over 10 political parties with a various number of seats.
The ANC has 249 seats, the DA 89, the EFF 25, the IFP 10, the National Freedom Party (NFP) has six MPs, while the Freedom Front Plus four.
The United Democratic Movement, African Christian Party (ACDP), Cope and the African Independent Congress (AIC) all have three MPs representing them respectively.
AgangSA has two MPs and there is one each for the Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC) and African People’s Congress (APC).
Interestingly, even if all the 12 opposition parties vote against President Jacob Zuma, the motion won’t still make any headway. Hence, they still need the support of at least 51 ANC MPs.
Earlier this month, several political veterans and Zuma’s critics including former President Thabo Mbeki called on ANC MPs to put South Africa first by supporting the motion in line with their oath to uphold and defend the Constitution.