Mbeki’s plea to MPs: Vote for the people, not the party

By Khatija Nxedlana
11 April 2017

Former President Thabo Mbeki has encouraged MPs to vote in the interest of the people instead of those of the governing party.

Back in 2008, Mbeki was recalled as President of South Africa with about nine months left in his second term.

Nine years later, opposition parties, civil society and members of the public are mobilising against President Zuma. It follows Zuma’s recent cabinet reshuffle and sacking of Pravin Gordhan as Finance Minister which led to two ratings agencies downgrading South Africa to junk status.

MPs are also set to debate a motion of no confidence in the president on April 18.

As thousands voice their opinions in the run-up to that sitting, former President Mbeki, who’s been outspoken about the state of the ANC, has now called on MPs to vote in the interest of the people instead of those of the governing party.

In an article published in The Star, Mbeki said MPs including the President were elected by citizens and are accountable to them.

"Our MPs serve in Parliament as representatives of the people,” says Mbeki.

Incidentally, Zuma said similar things about Mbeki in 2008.

After the ANC’s National Executive Committee meeting, Zuma made the announcement the Mbeki had been asked to step down, in a statement issued 22 September.

Parts of the statement read:

“…As the ruling party we need to sustain the confidence of our people in the ANC and its government. Once this level of confidence is weakened, the ANC has no alternative but to take action.”

“…The ANC prides itself in having leaders who rise to the occasion, who put the organization and the country first, no matter how challenging circumstances may be.”

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