ANC parliamentary caucus to vote with opposition parties in a motion of no confidence against Zuma

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Zuma praat in Parlement

Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail| 14 February 2018| 27 Jumadul Ula 1439

The African National Congress (ANC) has lost patience with a defiant President Jacob Zuma and its MPs will vote with opposition parties in a motion of no confidence against him at Parliament on Thursday.

Speaking after addressing ANC MPs at their caucus meeting at Parliament, party treasurer-general Paul Mashatile told journalists that South Africans could not be expected to wait any longer for Zuma to resign.

“It is very clear that for us as the leadership of the ANC, We can no longer wait beyond today. We don’t want to keep South Africa waiting. If President Zuma will at some point respond, he will respond but we can’t continue waiting.”

ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu says that depending on the availability of the Chief Justice, Mogoeng Mogoeng, Cyril Ramaphosa could also be elected as the country’s new president at the same sitting tomorrow.

Mthembu says the EFF refused to withdraw its own motion of no confidence so that the ANC could bring its own motion, which he says would have been ideal.

Instead, Mthembu says the ANC will move an amendment to the EFF’s motion from the floor – but he says this will not alter the thrust of the motion.

“We have approached them because ideally, it would have been nice for them to withdraw but they sadly refused to withdraw their motion and that’s why were are sitting with the next available option to the ANC, which is to amend that motion but not the substance.”

Section 102 of the Constitution allows for a simple majority – 201 of 400 MPs – to pass a motion of no confidence in the President, in which case he, his deputy, all Cabinet ministers and their deputies must resign. It provides for the Speaker to then act as president for up to 30 days until a new president is elected, but the ANC wants Ramaphosa installed as soon as possible.

Once elected, Ramaphosa will be in a position to appoint a new Cabinet.

If Zuma resigns before the motion of confidence is passed, then it will fall away and Ramaphosa will become acting president, with all the powers and functions the position holds – including appointing Cabinet ministers.

Mthembu has given the assurance that the Budget will go ahead as planned next Wednesday. The question now is whether Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba will still be the person to deliver it.

Read the full statement from the ANC NEC below:

Statement of the African National Congress following special meeting of the National Executive Committee held on the 12th February 2018

The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the African National Congress (ANC) convened a special meeting on Monday, 12th February 2018 at the Saint George Hotel, Tshwane. The meeting was called to reflect on the current situation as it pertains to the position of the President of the Republic of South Africa, Comrade Jacob Zuma.

The NEC received a report from the Officials on their engagement with President Zuma. These engagements had been informed by the commitment to pursue firstly the interest of the country and the ANC and the determination to handle the matter with utmost dignity.

The NEC noted the report of the Officials that the President had agreed in principle to resign and had proposed time frames extending from three to six months. While appreciating President Zuma’s proposal, the NEC noted that South Africa is going through a period of uncertainty and anxiety as a result of the unresolved matter of transition. Further that this uncertainty and anxiety will erode the renewed hope and confidence among South Africans since the 54th National Conference of the ANC.

The National Executive Committee firmly believes that this situation requires us to act with urgency in order to steer our country towards greater levels of unity, renewal and hope. We are determined to restore the integrity of the public institutions, create political stability and urgent economic recovery. Some of the matters we are contending with are the opportunistic manoeuvers by the opposition in parliament including motions of no confidence in the President, calls for dissolution for parliament and other desperate acts. The ANC’s approach to this matter has, at all times, been informed by the interests of the South African people.

Sensitive of the need to handle this matter with dignity, the NEC once again sent a delegation to brief the President Jacob Zuma about the need to shorten the timeframes so that this matter is speedily resolved. The NEC received feedback from the delegation that the President of the Republic did not accede to a shorter time frame.

The NEC therefore decided as follows:

To recall its deployee, Comrade Jacob Zuma, in accordance with Rule 12.2.21.2 of the ANC Constitution, which accords the NEC the authority to “recall any public representative”.

There should be continuing interaction between the officials of the ANC and the President of the Republic.
The decision by the NEC to recall its deployee was taken only after exhaustive discussion on the impact such a recall would have on the country, the ANC and the functioning of government.

The decision of the NEC provides certainty to the people of South Africa at a time when the economic and social challenges facing the country require urgent and resolute response by all sections of society.

It is critical that South Africans are united around the task of growth, job creation and economic transformation.

This decision will be communicated publicly and through appropriate forums to all structures of the ANC, Alliance Structures and all the Mass Democratic Formations.

All necessary parliamentary processes that arise from this decision will now ensue.