‘Zuma debate issue could have far-reaching consequences’

2012-11-17 00:00

CAPE TOWN — The ANC’s refusal to support a parliamentary debate on a motion of no-confidence against President Jacob Zuma and the opposition’s decision to turn to the court on the matter can have far-reaching consequences for the president.

Professor André Duvenhage, political analyst of the North West University, yesterday said the ANC’s repeated attempts to stop the debate reveals a fear in the inner circle of the party. He said it seems as if the ANC fears that Zuma could be voted out in a secret ballot after the debate.

“It also seems as if the whole saga stems from a parliamentary revolt against the president. The opposition must be sure that there are ANC members who will vote against the president,” Duvenhage added.

He said if the debate does continue and the president is voted out, the ANC must appoint a new leader.

An earlier general election could also result from such a debate.

Duvenhage explained that the opposition parties’ timing was perfect and their decision to elevate the vote by going to court was clearly very strategic. Both outcomes, a debate or a public court case, will have ANC members scurrying to man the portholes against an outside onslaught, instead of focusing on their own inner tactics ahead of the party’s upcoming Mangaung conference that will elect its next leadership.

DA MP James Selfe said the documents were already handed in at the Western Cape high court in the name of Lindiwe Mazibuko, the DA’s parliamentary leader.

He added the opposition parties naturally hope that the Speaker, Max Sisulu, would find a solution to resolve the deadlock between the parties before the issue goes to court.

Wattie Watson, chief whip of the DA, said the documents were also signed over to the parliament’s legal team. The team can only comment on Monday, he added.

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