Opposition counting on MPs’ ‘honour’ to get vote of no confidence against Ramaphosa passed

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President Cyril Ramaphosa. Photo: Elizabeth Sejake
President Cyril Ramaphosa. Photo: Elizabeth Sejake


Honour is defined by Collins dictionary as “doing what you believe to be right and being confident that you have done what is right”.

That’s what South Africa’s opposition parties are hoping will get them their vote on a motion of no confidence against President Cyril Ramaphosa passed in Parliament.

The African Transformation Movement (ATM), EFF, African Christian Democratic Party, UDM, Cope, IFP and the PAC briefed the media on Wednesday about their decision to file a motion of no confidence against Ramaphosa over the Phala Phala farm robbery case.

READ: Ramaphosa's Phala Phala silence defended

EFF leader Julius Malema read a statement on behalf of the opposition parties, which have banded together on this issue, saying that the move was an effort to hold Ramaphosa accountable “in relation to the violation of many laws, his oath of office and the Constitution”.

Malema said the DA and the National Freedom Party sent their apologies for not being able to attend the meeting on Wednesday, adding that both parties attended the first two where the intention to file the motion was discussed.

He said: 

Opposition parties will initiate and participate in a broader consultation with civil society organisations and parties not represented in Parliament, such as trade union and religious bodies, to consolidate the common approach and response to hold the executive and the president accountable.


Ramaphosa survived his first motion of no confidence in March, prompting the question of what is different about this one?

Malema said they did not need the ANC to pass the motion, only for its MPs to vote with honour:

We need honourable MPs, who honour their oath of office.

“We have all taken an oath of office. It doesn’t matter how much I love you, if you violate the law and you are a sitting president of the country, it doesn’t matter if I come from the same political party or not, I must do what is right by the Constitution of South Africa.”

Malema made it clear that they did not expect any organisation to give their MPs a mandate to toe a party line because each MP took the oath of office in their individual capacity.

READ: Ramaphosa appears before ANC integrity committee but remains mum on Phala Phala robbery

“We expect members of the ANC who are loyal to South Africa and its Constitution to do the right thing.”


ATM leader Vuyolethu Zungula said they felt like the investigation into the Phala Phala robbery was being hindered by the fact that Ramaphosa is president.

“A president in power might not be held to the same standards as a regular person.”

READ: Mkhwebane’s impeachment inquiry on shaky ground

Cope’s Mosioua Lekota said there is only so much that opposition parties can do.

“Ultimately, you the people put people in power. If your choices are for the crooks [and] the thieves ... we can’t do anything.”

Lekota said that South Africans must “vote for men and women you trust. There’s no other magic about it. Until the day you do the right thing, we are as caught up in the trap that you have put us in.”

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