I will vote against motion of no confidence in Zuma - Makwetla

2017-04-13 16:43
President Jacob Zuma (GCIS)

President Jacob Zuma (GCIS)

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Johannesburg - African National Congress MP and Deputy Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Thabang Makwetla says he will vote against the upcoming motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma.

Makwetla said his vote was not a secret as he could never vote with the opposition.

"For me it's not even a difficult decision to make for the simple reason that only ANC members can correct what is wrong with the ANC and in the ANC," Makwetla said.

Makwetla was backed by former South African National Defence Force chief Siphiwe Nyanda, who said the party's back benchers could not be expected to vote with the opposition when the party's top leadership had "abdicated" their responsibilities by not taking action against Zuma.

"We expect a lot from the most vulnerable when the top leadership of ANC abdicates their leadership," Nyanda said.

He said the party had failed when Zuma "bridged" the party's constitution by not consulting the ANC leaders and tripartite alliance about his Cabinet reshuffle.

Constitutional Court ruling

The controversial reshuffle led to the country being downgraded to junk status by two ratings agencies, sparking nationwide protests by opposition parties and civil society calling for him to step down.

ANC alliance partners SACP and Cosatu along with 1 010 stalwarts have also backed the calls for Zuma to go.

"I am not saying I won't be necessarily pleased if they do so [MP's vote with the opposition], but we expect the little man to do what other people who are in top leadership positions are not able to do," Nyanda said.

The vote of no confidence is due in Parliament after the Constitutional Court rules on the UDM's case for a secret ballot.

In its papers filed with the court, the UDM argues that a secret ballot would protect ANC members who risk being recalled from Parliament if they vote with the opposition.

Former president Thabo Mbeki also joined the growing calls for the ANC MPs to vote with their conscience and not follow the party line. Mbeki said the MPs must put the country before the party.

However Makwetla said if the motion was sponsored by the ANC then it "would make perfect sense for an ANC member to vote for it".

"If we take an approach that suggests that we are now looking for solutions to what is happening inside the ANC from elsewhere, including opposition political parties, to correct what is wrong with the ANC, we will be making a mistake," Makwetla said.

ANC 'divided right at the top'

Makwetla's sentiments were also supported by another ANC MP, Jerome Maake, who is also a member of the MK national council's steering committee.

"How do you vote together with those people who openly say they want to destroy the ANC?" Maake asked.

The MK national council, formed in 2016, has called for an urgent national consultative conference (NCC) to resolve the crisis gripping the ANC.

Nyanda said the present political situation had left the ANC "divided right at the top".

"There is this motion of no confidence proposed and there are marches calling for the president to step down," Nyanda said.

They want the party's policy conference to be held on a date after the consultative conference.

The ANC agreed to an NCC, but said two days of the policy conference must be set aside for the conference. The council made up of former MK commissars and stalwarts, however, wants the two separated.

Read more on:    anc  |  thabang makwetla  |  politics

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