Zuma: No need for secret ballot. You have failed 7 times

2017-06-22 17:33
President Jacob Zuma answers questions in Parliament.

President Jacob Zuma answers questions in Parliament. (Parliament)

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'If we had elections now, you'd lose those metros' - bullish Zuma to DA

2017-06-22 17:12

President Zuma was at his mud-slinging best when answering questions in the National Assembly on Thursday. Zuma tells Freedom Front MP Corne Mulder that a secret vote is a waste, while telling the DA that the ANC will win back its metros in 2019. Watch. WATCH

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma says there is no need to have a secret ballot during a motion of no confidence in his presidency, as the vote has failed on seven previous occasions.

Zuma was asked during a question session in the National Assembly on Thursday if he would support a decision by Speaker Baleka Mbete to hold the vote via secret ballot, following the Constitutional Court's ruling earlier.

He said opposition parties have exhausted all their options, and are now trying to find a majority in Parliament that they did not earn at the polls.

"You are trying to get a majority you don't have, by saying secret ballot," he said in reply to Freedom Front Plus MP Corne Mulder.

"I think it's unfair, because you are trying to increase the majority you don't have.

"That is my view, let us vote the way we have been voting. Maybe it's your job to find alternative methods; fact of the matter is, you don't have the majority."

Zuma said the ConCourt ruling was clear that the decision was now in the Speaker's hands, and asked why this time should be any different.

"I have faced seven kinds of votes of no confidence. You have tried your best, but you have failed," he continued.

"Why this time, should you do it differently? It's trying to find a way to see if you can win or not. What has gone wrong? What is the problem?

"My view is that we should do what we have done in the past. I see no convincing reason why we should change."

He said Parliament has got the sufficient instruments for MPs to vote.

'I can't resign, the ANC must remove me'

Zuma, in answering the original question from AIC leader Mandlenkosi Galo, said there was no application before the ConCourt to have him impeached.

Galo followed up with a supplementary question and asked if it would be better for Zuma to step down for the sake of his own party, as his party had made him.

Zuma laughed his characteristic laugh before answering, admitting his political life was "indeed made by the ANC".

"The ANC elected me to be the president. The day it thinks I can't be the president, it will remove me. The ANC has not done so, so I can't do so.

Opposition parties could not have the final say, as it was not them who had elected him.

"The ones who say this president must go, they never made any effort to make me a president.

"So don't worry. Don't even worry about anything. Just sit in peace and rest. Don't worry," he said confidently, to applause from most of the caucus members.

'ANC will win in 2019'

Zuma was also adamant that the opposition's attempts would result in the ANC winning a majority during the sixth democratic elections.

"In 2019, the ANC will win once again because you don't have a majority.

"You can try, you can do everything, you can go to court, the court will bring you back to the legislature. That will happen," he said to laughter from the ANC MPs.

In a follow up question, Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane asked Zuma about him overseeing South Africa's downgrade to junk status.

"It is absolutely true that the people of this country prefer the ANC to lead them up to this point. No doubt about that," Zuma responded.

"The junk status is not for the first time in South Africa, and there have been different reasons. It has come and gone. Don't make this a Zuma thing."

He said opposition parties must not make the mistake of misleading the country to think the people did not want the ANC in government.

"They love it. If you don't love it, there's nothing strange, [because] you are an opposition."

SA is 'running well under me'

He said that if the country went to the elections today, the opposition would lose.

He claimed people have seen the "mistake" they made not voting ANC in the metros the ruling party lost during the local government elections in 2016.

"You talk as if you won with a [land]slide majority. You had to talk and beg other parties to help you form this municipality. That tells you it could have been for anyone," he told Maimane.

"You had to do many things: not sleep, negotiating to get parties on your side.

"In fact you are being threatened by EFF, that they will run away, and you might find yourself out of it. It is a small little thing of cooperation with other parties.

"Don't talk as if you won this with an overwhelming majority. We know anytime you can lose it.

"The people of South Africa did not make a mistake in elevating me as president of South Africa. I am fit and it’s running very well."

When the session adjourned, Zuma received a standing ovation from most in the ANC benches.

SACP MPs within the ANC benches, and a handful of other backbenchers, remained seated, which they did during Zuma's budget debate in May too.

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