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South African president Zuma survives ‘regime change’ motion

South African President Jacob Zuma has survived an eighth attempt by the opposition to unseat him. The ruling African National Congress (ANC) says the only thing that matters is that the motion for regime change was defeated.

Published: August 9, 2017, 9:25 am

    With 384 votes cast, 177 voted in favour of the motion, 198 voted no, and nine abstained. ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa says the numbers were irrelevant. “Whilst the opposition paraded in public through propaganda that they were talking to the MPs of the ANC, we were talking to their MPs and that’s why some abstained.”

    The South African monopoly media, various Soros-funded outlets, the SA Communist Party and the Communist trade union federation COSATU were all agitating against Zuma, who is a Zulu nationalist.

    EFF leader Julius Malema who rose to fame promoting Zimababwe-style landgrabs of white-owned property, said: “We are here to remove Zuma … he is the most corrupt person. Imagine what will happen [to the ANC] in 2019 if you [ANC MPs] continue like this … we have a problem that the Cabinet was reshuffled by the Guptas … we are rising against the Guptas‚ who have ensured that our economy is in recession.” The Indian Gupta family, close to the president, have been accused of “state capture” and South African banks have refused to deal with them.

    Malema, who often pontificates about corruption, had his own assets seized some years ago for failing to pay R16 million in taxes.

    The ANC’s deputy chief whip Doris Dlakude said the motion was part of a regime change agenda. “This motion is their [the opposition’s] publicly stated intention of regime change … our individual and collective integrity must propel us to rise above political expediency. We know and trust our members not to betray their movement and the imperatives of our democracy‚” said Dlakude.

    The President will now have to turn his attention to three court actions involving him which begin next month, including the EFF’s attempt to have him impeached.

    ANC MP Pule Mabe said: “It is a frivolous motion of no confidence … [tantamount] to a coup d’état”. Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula also said the opposition motion was essentially meant to topple the ANC.

    “They want ANC members to help them fulfil that ambition … the opposition in this house are doing all they can to further divide the ANC‚ including sponsoring this motion … the only way the ANC can lose power is by way of a negative vote at the next general election … we should not use other tactics to get rid of a governing party … that will be akin to a coup d’état … I have a duty to defend the ANC‚” said Mapisa-Nqakula.

    Water and sanitation minister Nomvula Mokonyane‚  addressed a crowd of hundreds of ANC supporters who had gathered outside Parliament in a show of support for the ruling party.

    “No regime change agenda can divide the ANC”, Mokonyane told the crowd. “We don’t want our democracy to be urinated on by amadlagusha (white people). We cannot allow regime change.

    “Money cannot buy our revolution. Our commitment has never been secret‚” said Mokonyane to loud applause.

    It was generally assumed that a secret ballot would increase the chances of President Zuma being ousted, as ruling-party lawmakers who back his ouster would not risk losing their jobs, but the persident survived the secret ballot.

    In a surprise announcement on Tuesday, South Africa’s parliament speaker allowed a secret ballot to be held on a no-confidence motion against president Jacob Zuma. The opposition EFF’s deputy president Floyd Shivambu noted in a Facebook post that: “Even witchcraft couldn’t stop the speaker from announcing the secret ballot.”

    Speaking to journalists, the speaker of the national assembly, Baleka Mbete, who is a member of the ruling ANC party, had said it was her responsibility as speaker to decide whether or not the no confidence vote in President Zuma will be conducted by secret ballot or not.

    Meanwhile the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) also accused the coalition of opposition parties, civil society organisations of advancing regime change, in an attempt to remove Zuma from office.

    ANCWL secretary-general Meokgo Matuba said the league was shocked to see the former deputy minister of finance coopted into the regime change agenda after he was ousted during a cabinet reshuffle.

    Matuba also lashed out those behind the motion of no confidence for being quiet when companies were found guilty of collusion, banks manipulating the rand and other factors affecting the economy.

    The ZAR surged by as much as 2.0 percent trading up against the US dollar last while yields on benchmark government bonds dropped as it now appears that a more “stable” regime may be in the offing.

    Dr Pieter Groenewald, leader of the Freedom Front Plus told FWM: “This decision is an indication that the ANC is convinced that it has control over its members and that the party is therefore not afraid of a secret ballot.

    “The Speaker’s decision was rationally seen in light of her arguments about the matter and the FF+ never thought there would be any other decision. Mbete nevertheless showed courage with her decision.”

    Seven previous motions of no confidence brought by the opposition were successfully defended by the ANC‚ which enjoys a majority in Parliament with 249 of the 400 National Assembly seats.

     

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