Opposition parties pile on pressure for Zuma to go... SONA rather than later

2018-01-31 13:03
President Jacob Zuma. (Thuli Dlamini, Gallo Images, The Times, file)

President Jacob Zuma. (Thuli Dlamini, Gallo Images, The Times, file)

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Johannesburg - Pressure is piling on President Jacob Zuma as opposition parties approach Parliament, with the Democratic Alliance seeking to postpone the State of the Nation Address and the Economic Freedom Fighters calling for a motion of no confidence in his leadership to be debated on the day that he is meant to deliver his speech.

The United Democratic Movement has also called for a meeting of all opposition parties on Friday to discuss the EFF's vote of no confidence proposal.

There has also been a strong push within the African National Congress for the party's top officials to tell Zuma to step down, with some National Working Committee members telling News24 that it needed to happen before SONA.

READ: Zuma must go before SONA - ANC national working committee

ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe told News24 on Tuesday that the party's top six would meet with Zuma to discuss "options" to avoid him being impeached or voted out in Parliament.

"There is debate on what is in the air, the question of what is the best option, better than the possibility of impeachment and a vote of no confidence, or we do something different," Mantashe told News24.

'Representing his own jacket'

DA leader Mmusi Maimane announced through a statement on Wednesday that he had asked Parliament to postpone SONA until Zuma had been removed as head of state.

"As things stand, it would not be in the interests of South Africa for President Zuma to deliver the State of the Nation Address when there exists great uncertainty as to whether he will remain president," Maimane said.

READ: ANC top 6 will discuss 'options' with Zuma, says Mantashe

The EFF has written a letter to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete, asking for a motion of no confidence against Zuma to be debated.

EFF leader Julius Malema told News24 that there should be no SONA that day, if it is to be delivered by Zuma.

"He is representing his own jacket," Malema said, claiming that Zuma had no mandate to preside over SA.

Motion of no confidence

The EFF's commander-in-chief listed the rulings by the North Gauteng High Court in relation to the state capture matter, as well as the Constitutional Court's findings on an impeachment application by the EFF, as some of the reasons why they wanted a motion of no confidence debated.

He also said the ANC had a new president, Cyril Ramaphosa, who was elected in December to lead the 106-year-old liberation movement, saying that South Africans voted along party systems, and not for individuals.

Malema, in the letter he sent to Mbete, said he believed that Parliament would reach a different conclusion on a motion of no confidence than it had previously done.

Zuma has survived numerous motions of no confidence in the past.

"A state president who is destined for a judicial commission of inquiry cannot be a suitable head of state and government, which is legislatively and practically defined by extremely busy programmes," Malema wrote in the letter.

He added that Zuma's suitability to continue as president was a more urgent question to deal with than a SONA which would be delivered by someone destined for commissions and trials.

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Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  eff  |  julius malelma  |  jacob zuma  |  mmusi maimane  |  johannesburg

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