Opposition: Zuma Must Face His Day In Parliament

"The people must elect the new South African president, not a few connected cadres within the ANC," the DA said.
President Zuma at the ANC's 54th national conference last year.
President Zuma at the ANC's 54th national conference last year.
Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters

Opposition parties say a motion of no confidence in President Zuma should be convened with urgency, regardless of the ANC's decision to recall him as head of state.

This after ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule on Tuesday announced that the party had opted to recall Zuma following a marathon national executive committee meeting on Monday.

Although the NEC offered no timeline for Zuma to respond, so Magashule says, it is expected that Zuma will issue feedback to the party regarding his resignation with urgency.

In a statement, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said the ANC's decision has no effect on Zuma's current status as president, and can be simply ignored by him.

"Unless he tenders his resignation, this recall is not worth the paper it is printed on. The fact is, Zuma remains president, and remains in power. And as long as this is the case, our country suffers. The only way to remove Zuma as president of our country is for Parliament to do so through a motion of no confidence. It is Parliament that elects and removes a president, not the ANC," Maimane said.

He said the the EFF's motion of no confidence, scheduled for February 22, must be treated as a priority and brought forward to this week.

"Following that, the National Assembly must dissolve Parliament. Anyone who wants to be the next president of this country must have the mandate of the people, and this can only be established through an early election. The people must elect the new South African president, not a few connected cadres within the ANC," Maimane said.

United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa said the onus in now on Zuma as to how he will react.

"I cannot predict his reaction. If he rejects the ANC's instruction, then parliamentary processes must begin as soon as possible," he said.

Holomisa said his party had not heard from National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete about her decision on whether to move the date for the motion of no confidence forward, as requested by the EFF.

EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi could not be reached for comment, but the party's deputy leader, Floyd Shivambu, told reporters outside Parliament that the party has allowed Mbete more time to make a decision on the date of the motion of no confidence.

The party previously threatened to approach the courts to force Mbete to move the date forward. Their deadline was 1pm on Tuesday.

In a statement, the Thabo Mbeki Foundation called on Zuma to tender his resignation.

"For a long time now, many in our country have called for the removal of Zuma as president. This was because – among other [things] – he faces the possibility of prosecution for alleged criminal offences and is directly associated with negative developments... It has been obvious for many years that the interests of our country would be best served if indeed Zuma ceased to be president," the organisation said.

"As a disciplined and loyal cadre of the ANC, and out of respect for the constitution of the country, Zuma must communicate with [Mbete] to tender his resignation... This long overdue resolution by the NEC of the ANC gives the possibility for the ANC as the governing party to urgently and immediately attend to the many challenges and negative developments which have arisen during the years of the presidency of Zuma."


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