Zuma’s actions last Thursday have seen an increased number of top ANC members joining other critics to call for actions against the President and his new cabinet in the fresh #ZumaMustFall Campaign.
With Zuma being caught in the web of his own decisions, as claimed by political analysts on the Thursday Cabinet reshuffle, strong moves are expected to be taken to finalize whether the President goes or stays, yet all South Africans see is an increased talk of what must be done but no actions to back them up.
With the likes of Gwede Mantashe ANC’s secretary-general publicly referring to the latest cabinet reshuffle as improper and unacceptable, followed by the Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa who maintained his stance against Gordhan and Jonas’ firing, analysts say more moves are expected to have come up to speed up actions against Zuma.
But, as it is, the top members of the ruling party, are now being referred to as “toothless bulldogs who only bark without a serious bite.”
Roger Southall, a Professor of Sociology, University of the Witwatersrand, who’s among a number of South Africans weary of the long and aggressive talks on the #ZumaMustFall campaign wrote a short piece on The Conversation where he lashed out at ANC top leaders who have failed to take serious actions against Zuma.
The Professor said there are lots of brave talk about standing up to President Jacob Zuma after the dismissal of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan amid a wider Cabinet reshuffle which has been widely condemned as disastrous for South Africa, but fewer or no actions have been taken to correspond to the talks.
Predictions are that the country has reached “a turning point”, is facing a ratings downgrade and plummeting investments, rising debt and negative growth vie with warnings that South Africa is headed towards becoming a “failed state”. Calls are also made for citizens to voice their displeasure on the country’s ills and push forward the #ZumaMustFall Campaign
“Yet the real action will take place in parliament. And South Africans can take it for granted that Zuma reckons that he can ride out the storm, survive the rest of his term, and secure the election of a like-minded crony to replace him,” he said.
According to Southall, there are two options for challenging Zuma in parliament. The first, proposed by the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), is a vote of no confidence in Zuma; the second, favored by the smaller Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), is impeachment.
But, following the nation’s constitution -which stipulates that if the National Assembly, by a vote supported by the 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. (Chapter 5, Paragraph 102 (2)), – the ruling party which is of majority in the parliament has a greater role to play in the success of the No confidence in Zuma motion.
” …given the compromised standing of virtually all sitting ANC MPs in allowing Zuma to get away with blatant abuse of the constitution, this would require that any dissident 70 or more of them would have to eat a good dose of humble pie. And in public, too.
“So realistically it would seem that a simple vote of no confidence in the president is the easiest to pursue and the most likely to succeed. But what are the chances of success, given that Zuma has survived a number of such motions before?”
ANC party “elders” often repeat the mantra that the ANC under Zuma has strayed away from the path of Justice and virtue and that there is need for the party to return to its old ways. However, these calls does not necessarily imply that the “real ANC” is now ready to stand up
Mmusi Maimane, leader of the DA says he’s already been contacted by dissident ANC MPs with promises to support the DA motion on #ZumaMustFall. But the professor says that is good and promising but the ruling party still has a long way to go as Zuma appears to have control over the party machinery more than they do.
“They would run a severe risk of losing their places on the party’s list at the next election. This, in turn, would force them to consider whether to align themselves more openly with the DA or the EFF, albeit perhaps, in some new political combination,” he said.
“Are there enough of them to take that risk, or will they play for safety by either simply abstaining, or arguing that it is better to keep the fight within the party, and postpone the real battle to the ANC’s congress in December?”
Roger Southall concluded his words by saying those ministers disagreeing with Zuma and planning to resign en mass, should be vocal rather than keeping their heads down because this will be needed to prevent Zuma from stuffing his Cabinet with even more of his cronies.
“Will they take that further step of moving into outright rebellion? Will the Deputy President be bold enough to lead the charge?” he asked.