Zuma loyalists bay for blood of ‘sell-outs’
AWITCH-HUNT has been unleashed to expose the ANC MPs who voted for the removal of President Jacob Zuma during the watershed secret ballot in the National Assembly on Tuesday.
Zuma’s supporters, emboldened by his narrow escape from being booted out during a motion of no confidence vote, want the “sell-outs” to be thrown out of the party.
The Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association told The Star yesterday that they were shocked to see so many MPs voting against the party line and were shaken by the outcome.
It was the first time in the history of South Africa’s young democracy that ANC MPs had voted with the opposition for the removal of their sitting president.
With the ANC elective conference looming in December, it was becoming clear that the results of the motion would be used to corner Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s supporters, who gained an edge in the succession race during the party’s recent policy conference.
But ANC tripartite alliance partners the SACP and Cosatu, and ANC headquarters Luthuli House, warned yesterday against a witchhunt.
Some of the ruling party’s structures, Zuma’s acolytes and at least one cabinet minister have called for action to be taken against the MPs who defied the ANC.
Of the 384 MPs who cast their votes by secret ballot, 177 voted in favour of Zuma’s removal, 198 rejected the motion, and there were nine abstentions.
This means as many as 35 ANC MPs could have voted “with their conscience” and defied their organisation’s orders to reject the motion.
Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association chairperson and Deputy Minister of Defence Kebby Maphatsoe said they were shaken by the result.
“To be honest, we were very shocked to see so many (ANC) members of Parliament voting for the motion. I knew about 13 (ANC) MPs who were not going to vote with us. Others knew of 35 MPs. But I never expected such a big number,” he said.
Maphatsoe said it would be difficult to identify the culprits because they had voted by secret ballot.
“History will catch up with them, they will be known one day. But we do have our suspects, such as Dr Makhosi Khoza, Mondli Gungubele, Pravin Gordhan and Derek Hanekom,” he said.
All the ANC MPs identified by Maphatsoe had publicly declared they would vote “with their conscience” and had publicly called on Zuma to step down.
“They acted against the instructions of the ANC, even after we had received an 11th-hour briefing about the way we should vote.
“The ANC must take disciplinary action against them and remove them from Parliament. We can’t have people who defy party instructions,” said Maphatsoe, who is a known Zuma ally.
He added that it was clear for everyone to see that the ANC caucus in Parliament was divided.
Small Business Minister Lindiwe Zulu has accused ANC MPs who voted with the opposition of having sold out and urged that action be taken against them.
ANC Youth League secretary-general Njabulo Nzuza said those who had voted for Zuma’s removal would be “identified, suspended and removed from the ANC”.
When asked how that would be achieved, since the vote was secret, he said: “Yes it was a secret vote, but we are going to kickstart organisational processes to identify and deal with all those who voted with opposition forces.”
Gungubele, the former mayor of Ekurhuleni, said it was merely a rumour that MPs who voted with the opposition would be identified and dealt with.
“The vote was conducted by secret ballot so that your vote is secret. I’m a leader in the organisation, and if I was going to be disciplined, I would have known that already,” he said.
Khoza, who comes from Zuma’s home province of KwaZulu-Natal, said she would respond “extensively” today.
We were very shocked to see so many MPs voting for the motion
WOMEN in the Northern Cape and other parts of the country yesterday reiterated their support for Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma to become the country’s next president.
ANC leaders and supporters publicly threw their weight behind Dlamini Zuma during the National Women’s Day celebrations held in Galeshewe yesterday.
Hundreds of supporters in ANC regalia sang and chanted that they are ready for Dlamini Zuma to take over from President Jacob Zuma.
Zuma, who delivered the keynote address, openly showed his support for Dlamini Zuma when he went to fetch her from her seat and escorted her off the stage.
In his address, Zuma focused on the significance of Women’s Day and made no reference to the motion of no confidence brought against him in Parliament the day before.
Zuma said the government had made great strides in providing basic services to the people… and women were the primary beneficiaries of government’s programmes aimed at fighting poverty.
“Basic services such as water, electricity, housing, roads, access to education and health have been extended to more communities each year since 1994… Women experience change directly when these services are provided by government in their communities. We assure those who are still waiting on government that we will not rest until all our communities have basic needs which improve the quality of life.”
Zuma added that there was still, however, much to be done to emancipate all women.
“While we celebrate the advancement of women in the public sector, there is a continued exclusion of the majority of the population, both women and Africans, from decision-making positions in the private sector,” he said.
“The statistics in the 20162017 Commission for Employment Equity Annual Report paint a bleak picture with regards to transformation. White people occupy 68% of positions at top management level and 58% at senior management level.
“Women continue to be under-represented at 22% and 33% at top and senior management levels respectively.
“What is of great concern is that women continue to struggle to enter the labour market, even at lower levels, due to lack of skills. As a result, they are forced to turn to the informal sector to make ends meet.”
Zuma said the increase of violence against women was also worrisome.
He said law-enforcement agencies faced numerous challenges when it came to addressing these crimes.
“According to the police, these crimes usually happen behind closed doors or in secluded areas which are very difficult to police.
“Another challenge is victims often withdraw charges of domestic violence and sexual offences where the offender is known to the victim.”
KEEPING THE TRADITION: Members of the ANC Women’s League, female Struggle veterans, the leadership of various organisations, and women from various communities took to the streets of Pretoria to celebrate Women’s Day.