MPs drop Zuma mo­tion plan

Sunday Times - - POLITICS - BABALO NDENZE

ANC MPs have dumped a pro­posal that the party’s par­lia­men­tary cau­cus should come up with its own res­o­lu­tion to de­ter­mine Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s fate.

This comes af­ter the party’s na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee de­cided against re­mov­ing Zuma from the Union Build­ings, and in­structed its MPs to toe the party line on any op­po­si­tion-spon­sored mo­tion of no con­fi­dence in the pres­i­dent.

Sev­eral mem­bers of the ANC’s par­lia­men­tary cau­cus last month com­mit­ted to de­fend­ing Zuma dur­ing the no-con­fi­dence vote, but sug­gested that the party’s par­lia­men­tary struc­ture find its own way of deal­ing with him.

Party MPs, who asked not to be named be­cause they were not au­tho­rised to speak on the mat­ter, said the NEC in­struc­tion had dis­armed Zuma’s de­trac­tors as it was bind­ing on all ANC MPs.

“Cau­cus is no longer con­cerned about that,” said one party MP.

The cau­cus has also closed ranks around MPs such as Mondli Gun­gubele and Makhosi Khoza, with chief whip Jack­son Mthembu say­ing no ac­tion would taken against them af­ter they let it be known they would vote in favour of the mo­tion of no con­fi­dence in Zuma’s lead­er­ship.

“The ANC doesn’t guil­lo­tine peo­ple who have any views but tries to get ev­ery­body to be on the same page, and that’s what we have done — can we be on the same page no mat­ter how dif­fi­cult a mat­ter can be?

“Gun­gubele was say­ing how he might vote be­cause of what­ever views he holds as a mem­ber of par­lia­ment,” said Mthembu.

“There are peo­ple in cau­cus who said how they might vote. They might vote fol­low­ing their con­science.”

He said the cau­cus had mem­bers who were lead­ers in their own right.

“You don’t have peo­ple that need to be po­lit­i­cally babysat.”

The mo­tion will be de­bated only af­ter the Con­sti­tu­tional Court has ruled on the ap­pli­ca­tion of the United Demo­cratic Move­ment for an or­der to com­pel Na­tional As­sem­bly speaker Baleka Mbete to al­low a se­cret vote.

Mthembu said he was not hav­ing sleep­less nights, be­cause the mo­tion would fail.

“I don’t have any fears. If you re­mem­ber, my first day as chief whip was to deal with a sim­i­lar mo­tion last year. Some said it was a bap­tism of fire. So I’m a veteran of votes of no con­fi­dence and de­feat­ing them,” said Mthembu.

An MP who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity said Mthembu had de­fended MPs who spoke out in pub­lic about their po­si­tions on the mo­tion.

“Jack­son de­fended them. If your chief whip is very good there’s noth­ing wrong. He does that as an NEC mem­ber. Jack­son is very in­de­pen­dent and a good per­son,” said the MP.

My first day as chief whip was to deal with a sim­i­lar mo­tion last year. Some said it was a bap­tism of fire. So I’m a veteran of votes of no con­fi­dence and de­feat­ing them

DE­FENDED: Jack­son Mthembu

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