No-Confidence Debate: Proceedings in Parliament has since been adjourned to allow members of Parliament (MPs) to cast their vote for or against President Jacob Zuma.
Prior to this, Members of Parliament (MPs) engaged in a fierce debate in favour and against the president. While the debate lasted, ANC speakers had little to say about why anyone should have confidence in President Zuma – instead, they painted the motion of no confidence as an opposition ploy to bring about regime change.
But opposition MPs insisted the motion was about holding the country’s president to account and not against his party.
The leader of the opposition Democratic Alliance urged South African lawmakers to oust President Zuma because he’s apparently unfit lead the country.
He encouraged ANC MPs to place the interests of the 58 million South Africans first and support the motion of no confidence.
“Either we will allow one family, aided and abetted by our president, to take everything from us, or we, on behalf of the people of South Africa who elected us, will take our country back. The choice before us today is not about party politics. Today our choice is about right or wrong, good or evil. Today we do what is good for our country or we turn our backs on it,” he said.
In his speech, the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Julius Malema said the vote of no confidence was not against the African National Congress (ANC) but against the leader of the ruling party.
“We are not here today to remove a democratically elected government of the ANC, which was voted for by our people in 2014. Whether we like it or not, we must at all times respect the wish of the people and that’s why we are here – to make it very clear that ours today is not against the ANC, it’s against Duduzane [Zuma]’s father because Duduzane’s father is the most corrupt in the country,” said Malema.
Speaking also, the leader of the United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa reminded MPs that the essence of the secret ballot is to provide safety in order for them to vote with their conscience.
“…We have to seize the opportunity to put the people and the country first. In this regard, let us vote against the abuse of power. The infamous intelligence report … Let us vote against Mr Zuma, the chief architect of state capture,” Holomisa said.
The African National Congress deputy chief whip Doris Dlakude while debating on the motion described the motion against Zuma as a form of “power grab”. She called on her fellow ANC MPs to vehemently reject the motion with the contempt it deserves.
President Zuma, who has been in office for eight years, would have to relinquish office, along with his cabinet if he loses to the opposition.
According to Parliament, the motion process will go this way – after each party has stated its case in a debate‚ MPs will be given a paper on which to make their mark. The votes will then be counted in a guarded room‚ under the watchful eye of party representatives.
After this, the results will be signed off by the secretary of the National Assembly before they are announced by the Speaker.
While voting has since commenced, it would take 50 ANC lawmakers backing the opposition to vote Zuma and his cabinet out. The ANC has 249 seats in the 400-seat parliament while the opposition controls 151 seats.