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