Holomisa: Candid ANC MPs must take a stand if secret ballot fails

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa. (Deaan Vivier, Netwerk24)
UDM leader Bantu Holomisa. (Deaan Vivier, Netwerk24)

Cape Town – If the motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma goes ahead without a secret ballot, it will be up to outspoken ANC MPs to take a stand, UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said on Friday.

"It will be important to see who among the 400 National Assembly members are loyal to the Constitution and the country as opposed to those who want to defend the indefensible," he told the National Press Club.

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete still has to say if the vote in the motion, scheduled for Tuesday, will happen in secret.

Delay tactics

"Her decision will be a Luthuli House decision. The fact that she is delaying speaks volumes."

If she decides against a secret ballot, opposition parties could take her decision on review, depending on her reasons. If the debate continues, Holomisa said they will be able to see which ANC MPs were "loyal to their personal financial interests", to ANC factional interests, or those of the country and its citizens.

"If voting happens in the open we would expect them to do the right thing and use the opportunity offered by the opposition to vote this man out if they say he is not a good president," he said, referring to MPs who had expressed a lack of confidence in Zuma.

Makhosi Khoza, former Ekurhuleni mayor Mondli Gungubele and SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande had all called for Zuma to step down.

Holomisa said South Africans had long agreed that Zuma was no longer a legitimate leader.

He questioned the ANC’s claim that it was difficult to remove a sitting president, when it had recalled former president Thabo Mbeki.

Worst crisis to hit SA since 1994

In a joint statement on Friday, opposition parties argued that the motion is not about removing the ANC from power. This is despite calls by the DA that if the motion succeeds, there should be an early election. 

"The next election is in 2019, where the opposition will face the ruling party and this we accept,  there can never be a shortcut removal of the ANC other than in 2019. We shall do nothing to upset the foundations of South Africa's legitimate political system whose next cycle of elections is in 2019," they said in a statement.

Opposition parties and civil society however on Wednesday agreed to march together against Zuma.

"This is the last push to stop a corrupt president from destroying our country," they said.

The coalition consists of the DA, EFF, Cope, UDM, IFP and PAC. They acknowledged that ousting Zuma would not solve all of South Africa’s problems, but would be the beginning of an urgently required national rebuilding project.

The opposition parties’ march would take place in Cape Town on Tuesday.

"This is the time to stand together as a nation," they said.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
Voting Booth
When planning for the Black Friday sales do you:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Save, research and plan ahead, preparing to make the most of it?
8% - 944 votes
Wait and see what looks like a good deal on the day?
14% - 1778 votes
Have no interest in spending more money this year?
78% - 9790 votes
Brent Crude
All Share
Top 40
Financial 15
Industrial 25
Resource 10
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo