EFF warns DA not to take other opposition parties for granted

2017-09-05 23:15
(File, News24)

(File, News24)

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Cape Town – The majority of the ANC caucus would have voted with the opposition in the motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma had it not been for the DA's grandstanding, said EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu before he warned the DA not to take other opposition parties for granted.

Shivambu was speaking during the debate on the DA's motion to dissolve the National Assembly, which, had it succeeded, would have necessitated early national elections.

The motion seemed doomed early in the debate, as all of the other opposition parties except Cope and Agang, which only had four MPs between them in the House, rejected it as opportunistic, irrational, illogical, and an act of grandstanding on the DA's part.

"The DA must not take the vote we've given them for granted," said Shivambu.

"Don't undermine us, don't undermine other political parties, the EFF in particular, we're not going anywhere," Shivambu said.

IFP chief whip Narend Singh said the motion of no confidence against Zuma had "changed the trajectory of the country".

"Let's not be in a hurry to do a Theresa May (Conservative UK Prime Minister); rushing into a general election that could leave us with a hung Parliament," said Singh.

He finished with a colloquialism from his father: "If you want to kill a snake, do so, but without breaking the stick."

'This is not a serious motion'

NFP MP Munzoor Shaik-Emam said the DA was using another opportunity to grandstand, doing "what they mastered during apartheid" – dividing and ruling.

"Clearly their intentions [are] not good: it's about power and control."

UDM MP Nqabayomzi Kwankwa described the motion as using constitutional mechanisms as a "political PlayStation".

Like Singh, FF Plus leader Pieter Groenewald warned about the costs associated with early elections.

"I want to say to the DA, this is not a serious motion. Your own leader isn't even here," he said, pointing at Mmusi Maimane's empty seat.

ACDP leader Kenneth Meshoe said the motion was "opportunistic and not in the best interest of the country".

But it wasn't the DA only that took hits.

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen introduced the motion by describing all the times Parliament protected Zuma as madness.

"And where exactly were the guardians of the people when these mists of madness swept over our nation?" asked Steenhuisen.

"This Parliament should be the frontline of defence for the people of South Africa.

"Instead at every twist, test and turn, it has chosen president over people, party over principle, executive over example, and collusion over our Constitution."

'Don't undermine the will of the majority'

Most of the other opposition speakers referred to the division and perceived mayhem within the ruling party.

"Let us give the ANC enough rope to hang themselves," said Kwankwa.

"It would be easier for the ANC to pass through the eye of a needle than for the ANC to save itself," said Shivambu, referencing the name of the ANC document Through the Eye of the Needle, which outlines the characteristics an ANC leader should have.

The ANC ridiculed the motion.

ANC MP Richard Mdakane said it was illogical and sought to divert the ANC government from achieving its transformation and service delivery goals.

To Steenhuisen he said: "Who has given you such bad advice to table such a motion?"

He added that if the advice had come from within the DA, then the party was in trouble.

"Don't undermine the will of the majority."

He also made fun of the strife between the DA and coalition partner the UDM in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro.

Kwankwa warned "those who are talking about Nelson Mandela Bay". "It will be fixed and you will be on the opposition benches," he said.

229 votes against

The DA was supported by Cope's Deidre Carter, who described the ANC's rule as the "tyranny of the majority," and Agang's Andries Tlouamma, who said Zuma was "the monarch and the MPs her subjects".

"This is a gangster government," said Tlouamma. "Zuma no longer sings Umshini Wam, he's singing Gupta Wam."

ANC MP Lindiwe Maseko said Carter's statements were not worth replying to.

To Tlouamma she said: "The National Assembly is not Dr Mamphele Ramphele that you remove," referring to the party's former leader.

She said the DA's motion could not be defended as it was "devoid of reason".

When the votes were counted, 83 MPs supported the motion, 229 voted against it, and seven abstained.

Read more on:    da  |  eff  |  floyd shivambu

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