ANC dismisses no-confidence motion as publicity stunt

The ruling party has labeled the motion of no confidence tabled against the president on Thursday as a "playful, silly publicity stunt" that "belongs to the rubbish bin".

Opposition parties, including the African Christian Democratic Party, Azanian People's Organisation, Congress of the People, the Democratic Alliance, the Freedom Front Plus, the Inkatha Freedom Party, the United Christian Democratic Party and the African People's Convention, tabled the motion in the National Assembly on Thursday afternoon.

The parties said the motion was motivated by the Marikana killings; the Nkandlagate scandal; the failure by the government to deliver textbooks and workbooks to school children in Limpopo and the Eastern Cape; the downgrading of South Africa's credit rating by two major ratings agencies; the mounting disrespect for our Constitution and judiciary; unemployment; and the "uncontrollable and rising tide" of corruption in the public service.

Shortly after DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko tabled the motion, the ANC tabled a counter-motion proposing that Parliament reaffirm its full confidence in Zuma's leadership.

In a statement released shortly afterwards, the ANC said it had reaffirmed its "resolve to quash any frivolous and narrow publicity-seeking gimmicks masquerading as motions in the National Assembly by some opposition parties".

Moloto Mothapo, spokesperson for the party's chief whip, said that the motion was not based on any fact or evidence, and therefore amounts to nothing but character assassination.

"The so-called 'motion of no confidence' in President Jacob Zuma is a desperate, if not silly, publicity stunt by a group of attention-seeking opposition leaders. Such a stunt would be laughable or dismissed with silent contempt if it did not make a mockery of this august Parliament," he said.

"Those opposition parties involved in this gimmick ought to know that political power and mandate to lead is obtained through polls, not through the backdoors of the National Assembly. The attempt to usurp people's power through silly motions is bound to fail epically, just like it did before," he added.

Mothapo was referring to an incident in March 2010, in which Cope filed a motion of no confidence against him. Mvume Dandala, the party’s parliamentary leader at the time, said Zuma had lost the confidence of Parliament owing to his "wilful conduct and dangerously flawed judgment".

Zuma breezed through the incident unscathed after the ANC proposed – and had accepted — an amendment motion proposing full confidence instead.

It's unlikely that the motion will succeed again this time. In order for it to be passed, it must be supported by more than 50% of Parliament, or receive at least 201 votes. The ANC still holds a two-thirds majority in Parliament, so unless its members vote against it, the opposition parties will have no way of achieving this figure.

The motion will go onto an order paper on Tuesday and then be scheduled for debate at the discretion of the National Assembly programme committee.

But it's unclear when a debate on the motion will be heard. According to the DA's chief whip Watty Watson there are currently hundreds of motions for debate on the order paper; of these only five have been initiated before Parliament this year.

PW Botha wagged his finger and banned us in 1988 but we stood firm. We built a reputation for fearless journalism, then, and now. Through these last 35 years, the Mail & Guardian has always been on the right side of history.

These days, we are on the trail of the merry band of corporates and politicians robbing South Africa of its own potential.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertisting

In East Africa, the locusts are coming back for more

In February the devastating locust swarms were the biggest seen in East Africa for 70 years. Now they’re even bigger

Western Cape Judge Mushtak Parker faces second misconduct complaint

The Cape Bar Council says his conduct is ‘unbecoming the holding of judicial office’

‘My biggest fear was getting the virus and dying in...

South African Wuhan evacuee speaks about his nine-week ordeal

Border walls don’t stop viruses, but a blanket amnesty might

Why South Africa should consider amnesty for undocumented migrants in the time of the coronavirus outbreak.

Press Releases

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders

Dimension Data launches Saturday School in PE

The Gauteng Saturday School has produced a number of success stories