ANC promises a unified party as opposition calls for Zuma to go

Today marks the 8th time that Zuma faces a motion of no confidence. The motion is set to be debated at 2pm today followed by the vote by secret ballot. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

Today marks the 8th time that Zuma faces a motion of no confidence. The motion is set to be debated at 2pm today followed by the vote by secret ballot. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

The ANC and opposition parties are facing off in Cape Town as Parliament prepares for the vote of no confidence in the president of the country. The ruling party is adamant its MPs are united in their vote for Jacob Zuma to stay, but opposition parties are rallying for his removal.

This morning, the ANC parliamentary caucus met inside Parliament. Zuma, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe were among those present. Speaking after the meeting concluded, ANC MP Lindiwe Zulu told the Mail & Guardian she was confident that no one would vote with the opposition.

“I am sure and I do believe that the African National Congress will stand the test of time in this one, because there’s been so much noise that has been made out there; people claiming that they have ANC MPs among us. That is absolutely not true,” Zulu said.

“The fact of the matter is that we are going in there, in that National Assembly, this afternoon and we are going to further prove to South Africa how the African National Congress can rally its cadres.”

Outspoken ANC MP Makhosi Khoza was also in the caucus meeting. Despite facing threats and intimidation, she has said she will vote against Zuma, because corruption has become rife in the party.

Zuma can only be removed from the presidency if 201 MPs vote against him. The opposition needs 50 votes from the ANC caucus for it to be possible.

As ANC MPs were heard singing in support of Zuma inside the Parliament precinct, protesters and members of opposition parties chanted “Zuma must go”.

Opposition leaders know it is possible the vote today might not swing their way. Reacting yesterday to the announcement by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, that the vote would be done by secret ballot, Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema said he is “not convinced” ANC MPs will vote Zuma out despite the use of secret ballot.

“They have no reason to hide behind any intimidation,” Malema said.

Democratic leader Mmusi Maimane hailed Mbete’s decision as a start towards taking South Africa in the “right direction”.

Today marks the 8th time that Zuma faces a motion of no confidence. The motion is set to be debated at 2pm, followed by the vote by secret ballot. 

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