Parliament’s programming committee has announced that Parliament members will again debate a fresh motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma at the National Assembly, on 1st March.
The motion was Democratic Alliance leader Maimane Mmusi’s brain child. Maimane alleged that South Africa has lost confidence in President Zuma especially after his decision to fire former finance minister Mr. Nene and reshuffle finance ministers caused a sell-off of the country’s currency.
We will recall that last December, president Zuma fired Nhlanhla Nene before appointing him with David van Rooyen and then replacing him with Pravin Gordhan.
Responding, the African National Congress (ANC) frowned at the way the DA has been going about in matters that pertain to Zuma led-administration. They accused the party of changing a powerful parliamentary oversight mechanism into a hackneyed ritual.
However, Maimane reiterated that the only way to hold the president accountable is by holding the debate. The quest to have the debate re-surfaced following this week’s SONA Debate. The first move for the motion was initiated by Maimane in March 2015 when he accused ANC Members of Parliament (MPs) of ignoring what he called Zuma’s “destruction of democracy”. But the motion was knocked out by majority of parliament members. A total of 221 MPs voted against it, 113 support it, and eight abstained from voting.
In December 2015, Maimane brought up the motion again when he asked the National speaker Baleka Mbete to set up a fresh no-confidence debate in the president as soon as possible in the new year.
“The Constitution makes it clear that if a member of the executive fails in being able to execute his duties to the interests of South Africans, they must be removed. What we’re seeing now is that his actions are certainly not in the interests of South Africa.”
“The people of South Africa have lost confidence in Jacob Zuma and hundreds of thousands have expressed their intention for Zuma to fall. Now Zuma can fall, in January 2016, when Parliament can take up the cause of enraged South Africans and can vote President Zuma out of office,” Mmusi said last year.
Earlier this year, the DA leader accused the ANC of being responsible for the breakdown in race relations in the country, following a number of social media posts riddled with racial insensitivity.
However, the president has responded to parties’ debate of his State of the Nation Address (Sona) delivered a week ago. He steered clear of reacting to opposition attacks over firing finance ministers, Nkandla U-turns and the Gupta family. Instead he continued to focus on the economy, stressing the need for the country to avoid being downgraded to ‘junk status’.
President Zuma also sent his heartfelt condolence to the families of the mine workers trapped in the Lily Mine disaster – an action he was criticised for not doing during SONA last week.