Follow your conscience and resign – Mokonyane to ANC MPs who voted against Zuma

Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane. Picture: Lindile Mbontsi
Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane. Picture: Lindile Mbontsi

Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane has urged ANC MPs who voted in favour of the motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma to resign from the ANC, saying fresh people were needed to support the president’s agenda.

In an article written for political website, RealPolitik, Mokonyane singled out ANC MPs Derek Hanekom and Makhosi Khoza, saying they had “undertones of superior intelligence and elitism”.

President Jacob Zuma narrowly survived a motion of no confidence against him in Parliament three weeks ago, after months of growing anger over allegations of corruption.

198 MPs voted against the motion – which was conducted by secret ballot – compared with 177 in favour while there were nine abstentions. This indicated that a number of ANC MPs had supported the motion as the opposition has a total of only 151 seats in the National Assembly.

Zuma said that those who voted against him were breaking the party’s constitution and therefore should be identified and punished.

Yesterday political website RealPolitik published an article in which Mokonyane urged the unknown ANC MPs to quit the governing party.

Mokonyane wrote that the minority of MPs who could not see a successful South Africa under Zuma woukd neither be committed to such a success nor be trusted to commit to it since its very success would render their votes invalid and false.

“The majority of MPs voted against the motion, effectively saying the President of the Republic, Jacob Zuma, must continue with the work of steering the country forward. This is the will of the majority and must be respected by all.”

She questioned the commitment of the ANC MPs who supported the motion.

“The more than 26 ANC MPs who voted for the motion made absolutely clear their belief that building a successful and thriving South Africa will only happen if the South African ship is steered by a different captain.”

She added that they could only be expected to give a lacklustre performance and be hostile to the president and the executive. She felt new MPs and cabinet ministers were required to replace those who were opposed to Zuma.

“The country and the ANC would not be irrational to expect these MPs to destabilise the executive in the coming weeks and months, so it would not be prudent or rational for the ANC to allow the MPs and cabinet members who can only be expected to work against the president to continue to be part of the leadership collective in steering our country into its next destination.”

The minister also asserted that all the ANC’s narratives, led by Zuma, such as radical economic transformation and redistribution of the land cannot be expected to succeed with a leadership working in cross-purposes.

“If we are to take any of these policies to their logical conclusion, that will have to happen under a new leadership collective and it is only fair that any big and future decisions that are to be taken in the next few months must happen under this new leadership collective so the process of replacing the no confidence MPs must begin in earnest.”

She warned opposition MPs of the ANC’s strength, saying the motion’s success must serve as a message to them that the ANC remains with incredible strength.

“If any one of us does not fit the vision of that election cycle, there is no reason to seek to collapse the organisation or its constitutional processes. Ours is but to admit that in any given cycle, you may be at cross-purpose with the leadership collective so it’s only rational to sit that election cycle out and go back to the trenches to strengthen the organisation into the next cycle which will hopefully align to your own preferences.”

“This is an important lesson for people like Dr Makhosi Khoza and Derek Hanekom, who have undertones of superior intelligence and elitism,” Mokonyane wrote.

“When the oath of the ANC membership in rule 4.7 of the ANC constitution insists on members to respect the constitution and the structures and to work as loyal members of the organisation, it is not blind to the fact that sometimes structures of the organisation can seem irrational but it asks you to respect them anyway. When Rule 5.1.3 allows every member to offer constructive criticism of any member, official, policy programme or activity of the ANC within its structures, again it is aware that you may not be listened to by a structure but continue to speak to them anyway.”

She concluded that those ANC MPs “must do the only rational and honourable thing in accordance with their ‘moral conscience’, resign, and look to the next election cycle.”

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