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UPDATE: Speaker of Parliament, Baleka Mbete, has announced that Tuesday’s motion of no-confidence will be done by secret ballot. You can read more by clicking here.
JOHANNESBURG — Hype is building around Tuesday’s planned motion of no-confidence in President Jacob Zuma. It will be the eighth of its kind against Zuma. Of course, that’s if the motion goes ahead at all. There’s a real risk that if Mbete announces that there will be no secret ballot, some opposition parties will launch an urgent interdict to have the vote halted. No doubt, there is huge pressure on Mbete today. But history tells us that she’s been one-sided in defending her party in Parliament. History also tells us that all seven previous votes of no-confidence in Zuma were heavily rejected by ANC MPs. Most ANC MPs, even the likes of outspoken Makhosi Khoza, sided with Zuma in the last motion of no-confidence in Zuma in November 2016. This time, though, she’s changed her tune. It’s highly unlikely that other ANC MPs will also change their minds. But if they do, it will be the biggest political upset of South Africa’s post-1994 era. – Gareth van Zyl
The last motion of no-confidence in President Jacob Zuma — on November 10, 2016 — came about after the release of the Public Protector’s State of Capture report. Shortly after the previous motion of no-confidence in President Jacob Zuma was struck down by ANC MPs, the DA’s Chief Whip, John Steenhuisen, tweeted the list of MPs who voted against the motion. It’s worth noting that in November 2016’s motion of no-confidence, there was also a small number of ANC MPs who didn’t pitch up to vote at all — these included just over 30 ANC MPs who ranged from the likes of Pravin Gordhan to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Below then are the MPs who voted for Zuma in the last vote.
It will be interesting to see if the vote is 1) going to be in secret and 2) if over 50 ANC MPs will vote Zuma out. Again, this is a highly unlikely scenario. But one can’t ignore the noises around it as evidenced by a statement from Makhosi Khoza and the views of UDM leader Bantu Holimisa, both of which are outlined below:
Media Statement from ANC MP Makhosi Khoza:
7 August 2017
Issued by: Makhosi Khoza
TAKING BACK OUR DEMOCRACY
Tomorrow’s vote of no confidence is not a “silver bullet” that will rescue our ailing country but it is the critical step that South Africa needs to start taking back our democracy. Our democracy has been usurped by a suffocating web of greed, corruption and patronage that has become the hallmark of the current ANC leadership.
The ANC is my political home. The ANC is my heritage and I want to be very clear, the ANC is not rotten. In parliament, in the provinces and in our municipalities, there are many honest and patriotic ANC members who sought public office to genuinely serve all the people of our country. These people live the values and principles upon which the ANC was founded. Unfortunately, the leader of our party no longer subscribes to those values and principles.
For seven votes of no confidence I was complicit in propping up a leader who has consistently put his own interests above those of the people whom he supposedly serves. As a ANC member I rationalised my votes believing a united ANC would eventually stand against the leader who has failed us. But that has not happened.
As a loyal ANC member, there is nothing simple about supporting tomorrow’s vote of no confidence. Retribution will be swift and costly. Good ANC MPs who choose to do the right thing are likely to find themselves immediately recalled and cast out of the party. These are people with homes and children, with families to feed and school fees to pay. Their single act of defiance will have costly ramifications beyond just themselves and it is important South Africans recognise the magnitude of what we are asking these ANC MPs to do.
Supporting the vote of no confidence is not a vote against the ANC. It is a vote against the kleptocracy President Jacob Zuma has actively developed during his tenure as the leader of the ANC and President of the country. It is a vote against corruption. It is a vote to protect the social security net that is critical to so many of our citizens and it is a vote in defense of our democracy.
Corruption widens the racial and economic divides in this country. The actions of a few have stolen our freedom by oppressing us with corruption and greed. Our people will not progress if ethics, hard work, talent and diligence are doomed to play second fiddle to cronyism.
Today I call on all MPs to vote with their conscience. The road will not be easy but we will walk it together. We must do the right thing and the right thing is to support tomorrow’s vote of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma.
If it is a secret vote, Zuma likely to fall says Holomisa
South Africans have agreed that Jacob Zuma is no longer a legitimate president of this country. He has failed to uphold and defend the Constitution. United Democratic Movement leader General Bantu Holomisa told the Cape Town Press Club that if there was a secret ballot on Tuesday 8 August in the national assembly vote of no confidence, he expected President Zuma would fall as he believed that as many as 70 ANC MPs would cross the floor. The Cape Messenger editor Donwald Pressly reports.
4 August 2017 – Bantu Holomisa said he had heard rumours of 60 or 70 ANC MPs who would stand with the opposition. He hopes that all 400 MPs would put South Africa first in Tuesday’s vote of no confidence.
Asked if he expected some big names in the ANC – like Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa – to side with the opposition, Holomisa said that if the deputy president did not do so, his action – in support of President Zuma – would be hypocritical.
If the secret ballot is not granted by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, it may be placed on review by opposition parties – which may delay the vote on Tuesday, the general reported. Both the UDM and EFF may take the matter on review if no secret ballot is allowed.
If Zuma lost on Tuesday, ultimately the winner of a ballot in parliament would become president of the country. A vote has to be held for a new president within 30 days of a vote of no confidence. He said the ANC had been given the mandate in 2014 to run the country, so it would be ANC candidate who would likely prevail. Asked who he expected would replace Zuma, he said he did not care if the ANC selected Ramaphosa or someone else. “It could be any person. At this point… I have no one in my mind. I would assume that the ANC with its majority having been given a mandate… they will still come up with a candidate (to) finish the term. As long as that person makes sure we recapture lost ground, restore the image of South Africa, uphold ethics of good governance… and move forward.”
Asked about the march on parliament on Tuesday, he said: “(The) march will serve as a warning to MPs who vote in the afternoon.” What that march would be telling the ANC was that they could be on the side of South Africans. “It will serve as a warning… you are here because of us. We say take action. If you don’t do so… our votes are not guaranteed (for the ANC) for 2019.”
He said the opposition parties would wait for the Speaker to decide on the secret ballot before considering further court action. The opposition parties – including the DA, the EFF and UDM – would be holding a press conference on Monday. “Upon receiving that decision from her office, we will analyse it and come back with our responses.” If they were not satisfied with the rationale of the Speaker, the possibility of a judicial review would be considered.
Holomisa said the opposition parties would assess the sentiment of the marchers on Tuesday before taking this decision.
A better institution will only happen once Zuma has left the Union Buildings
I wonder what's going through Zuma's mind this morning #zumavote
— Emily Nemapare (@ShingiRugs) August 8, 2017
Asked what the opposition parties were doing in parliament to press for probes by the police and justice portfolio committees of parliament into the Guptas leaks, he said: “Under normal circumstances if we had a serious government that question would not have arisen… you know when Zuma ascended to power he immediately changed the leadership of those (investigative) institutions and appointed lackeys, whether you talk national intelligence… Scorpions were disbanded … those people… they are awaiting a political directive (to) go ahead (and) investigate … under normal circumstances the police would long ago have asked Mr Gigaba… is it true that you did a, b, or c… and decide whether they wanted to prosecute or not. The whole institution … almost all of these institutions are captured. We were lucky that (former public protector) Thuli Madonsela stood her own ground (otherwise) … the situation would be worse today.” Holomisa was referring to Madonsela’s state capture report indicating that the Gupta family had allegedly captured giant swathes of government, including many of the state owned enterprises.
“ In other words you will only get a better run institution when Zuma has left the Union Buildings,” he said.
Asked if Zuma was suffering from envy of the Zulu kingdom. “I don’t want to engage you on that… one thing that I can confirm Zuma was clever when he got into office. He rewarded almost every person including everyone who would have resisted (him). He gave them cabinet positions. Right now MPs are getting pressure from the cabinet ministers… he has corrupted almost everybody.”
“People with substance who would have said no. .. he has bribed them,” the general said.
Asked why Mbete could not grant a secret ballot, he said that ANC pressures were concerned that if Zuma was removed, there would be problems with the transition. “She would have to tell us reasons which are in line with the Constitution. I don’t think she can site divisions with the ANC (as the reason),” she said.
Asked by The Cape Messenger if Big Names – like Pravin Gordhan – would be among the ANC MPs voting against Zuma, Holomisa said: “This campaign is no longer (driven by) the opposition parties only… civil society have written letters to individual MPs to say they must vote out Zuma. I didn’t waste my time lobbying ANC members. These are adults. They know what will happen if they continue to keep Zuma in power. I hear murmours that 60 or 70 members (ANC MPs) are guaranteed .. I don’t want to pin my hopes on that. All that I am expecting (is) that the likes of Cyril Ramaphosas, the Blade Nzimandes and many others (vote against Zuma)… for instance the SACP has about 47 Members of Parliament… they have taken a conference decision that Zuma must go… you would expect that they would be automatically voting (against Zuma). If Cyril and Blade Nzimande and others are no longer strong and repeat what they were saying in the last couple of weeks… then we just dub them as nothing else but hypocrites and (let them) get on with their lives.”
Asked about the possibility of a national election being held and how it would play out, the general said: “The answer is a big no. The IEC is not ready for elections. They are still looking for R300 million to finish off their voters’ roll registration and addresses. If the ANC were to call for general elections, they would be taking a risk. They are not ready… they are still fighting among themselves. Elections are scheduled in 2019. Beyond 2019 we can begin to predict… if the trend in the local government election continues where the people are looking at other parties… that would be a positive thing for this country. We would be saying to people in the world never again will SA be a one party state … dominated by one political party.”
There may be a breakaway from the ANC
One partyism brings with it corruption, the UDM leader said.
He said the opposition parties may be ready to form an alternative government after 2019, but the ANC and DA may also band together to form a government. “There are many options… but forget about elections this year.”
Asked if Cyril Ramaphosa would carry out the required reforms to clean up the country and fight corruption if he were elected the ANC president in December, Holomisa said: “What if my favourite is Nkosazana (Dlamini Zuma)?” he asked rhetorically. “On a serious note Cyril Ramaphosa is well known in this country… in the time of apartheid he was galvanising support for the ANC and UDF. The way I see it… if Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma were to reach a compromise and let Cyril run the country as the president… they stand a chance of having two strong individuals… who would try to clean (up) the administration. In the event they contest each other… the chance is that the ANC will be left in that conference… and maybe in March (2018) a group that is defeated … (starts) another movement.”
“Cyril is respected by the unions…(and) business… he is a (fighter) for our Constitution… has got eloquence. On the other hand Nkosazana Zuma we know her as having been a strong minister… she is a no-nonsense taker. Whether she can outmanoeuvre Cyril on the public stage, I doubt. If Zuma is campaigning for his ex-wife in some provinces… it is too early to predict who will be the president.” The question remained whether the ANC would win the next elections, whoever was elected as ANC president.
- The Cape Messenger notes that Peter Attard Montalto, an analyst with Nomura, points out that if a vote takes place on Tuesday a key factor to remember is that 50%+1 of the total membership is needed to pass the motion, not a simple majority of the votes cast. In other words, the opposition needs a set 201 votes (of 400 assembly seats) regardless of whether the ANC (or part of it) are abstaining. This is also why Montalto attaches a lower probability to it passing. There are also some smaller parties that will lend some support to Zuma, meaning the opposition cannot be considered a single bloc.
Cyril Ramaphosa: The Audio Biography
Listen to the story of Cyril Ramaphosa's rise to presidential power, narrated by our very own Alec Hogg.