DA calls on Ramaphosa to ‘do right thing’ in no-con­fi­dence vote

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - MAY­I­BONGWE MAQHINA

THE DA has taken its push for the re­moval of Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma to an­other level by mak­ing a call to his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, to spear­head the sup­port of the mo­tion of no con­fi­dence within the ANC cau­cus.

Yes­ter­day, DA leader Mmusi Maimane de­liv­ered boxes con­tain­ing one mil­lion sig­na­tures from across the coun­try to Ramaphosa’s of­fice in Par­lia­ment.

This took place at the same time as the re­lease of a video on so­cial me­dia of Maimane’s “sin­cere call” to Ramaphosa to “please lead fel­low MPs to do the right thing when you vote on the mo­tion of no con­fi­dence”.

Ramaphosa is in the race to suc­ceed Zuma at the elec­tive con­fer­ence in De­cem­ber. He has, in re­cent weeks, been vo­cal in speak­ing out against the rot in gov­ern­ment and wrongs within the ANC.

In his video, Maimane states that Tues­day would present the time for men and women in the ANC to find courage.

“I urge you and your MPs to vote with con­science. Be­come part of to­tal change our na­tion so des­per­ately needed,” he ap­peals.

He re­peated the same mes­sage when brief­ing the me­dia at the gates to Tuyn­huis on de­liv­er­ing the pe­ti­tion.

“We call on Ramaphosa to vote to fire Zuma in a mo­tion of no con­fi­dence,” he said.

Maimane painted South Africa as a coun­try that was fac­ing junk sta­tus and in need of a new change from the grip of Zuma. The pe­ti­tion­ers, he said, were ask­ing Ramaphosa to “do the right thing”.

“I be­lieve it is time now to ask, do we place South Africa ahead, or do we place Ja­cob Zuma ahead?” he asked.

“I’m here to ap­peal to Ramaphosa… if you aspire to the high­est of­fice in the land, your in­ter­est must first and fore­most be South Africa, not Zuma, not even your own po­lit­i­cal party.”

He in­sisted that if Ramaphosa was se­ri­ous about rep­re­sent­ing the peo­ple, he should get the ANC cau­cus to vote against Zuma.

Na­tional Assem­bly Speaker Baleka Mbete has yet to de­cide on whether the vote will be a se­cret or open bal­lot. “I hope Mbete makes the right de­ci­sion to al­low peo­ple to vote with their con­science so we can get over this headache that is called Ja­cob Zuma,” Maimane said.

He re­minded that the Con­sti­tu­tional Court had ruled that Mbete’s de­ci­sion should be ra­tio­nal. “It must com­ply with the judg­ment and there­fore she can­not ar­bi­trar­ily wake up in the morn­ing and say no se­cret bal­lot for po­lit­i­cal rea­sons.

“If she comes with po­lit­i­cal rea­sons, we will be com­pelled to chal­lenge that de­ci­sion be­cause she must act con­sis­tently to do what the chief jus­tice said.”

Maimane, how­ever, down­played the ques­tion of why his party made re­peated calls for Zuma’s re­moval when his con­tin­ued stay in of­fice would serve as a “po­lit­i­cal li­a­bil­ity” to his own party lead­ing to the 2019 gen­eral elec­tions.

“I would hate be­ing em­broiled in dis­cus­sions about Zuma while we should come with eco­nomic mod­els about how we see South Africa out of re­ces­sion,” he replied.

Po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst Pro­fes­sor So­madoda Fikeni said the DA’s strat­egy won’t work, but might have a psy­cho­log­i­cal ef­fect af­ter the De­cem­ber con­fer­ence.

“The ANC un­der­stands the po­lit­i­cal risk but they will not re­spond now. They would not want to take in­struc­tion from out­side. It is a mat­ter of po­lit­i­cal pride,” Fikeni said, adding that the re­moval of Zuma would have to be en­gi­neered from within the ANC.

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