CAPE TOWN – The Democratic Alliance (DA) will on Wednesday announce its next plan of action following another failed motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.
After months of waiting for the motion to proceed the DA believes it was worth the effort.
Party leader, Mmusi Maimane, says he believed more of the ANC’s MPs would have voted against Zuma.
“Regardless of what the costs and regardless of everything else, this is a necessary step. We must keep fighting and we must keep holding the executive to account.”
United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa says his party is most surprised by the nine abstentions.
“The safety net was there because nobody would have seen them who have voted who but they didn’t make use of that opportunity. It’s clear that some of them are still obsessed in protecting this questionable character.”
He says the party will now join the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) at the Constitutional Court next month in a bid to have the president impeached.
“The one which is coming in September is the impeachment of the president and the UDM will be joining the EFF at the Constitutional Court as a friend of the court.”
Opposition parties are emboldened by the results of Tuesday’s motion of no confidence against Zuma which saw him survive by a narrow margin of just 21 votes.
In an unprecedented move, Members of Parliament (MPs) were allowed to cast secret ballots in a vote to remove the president.
It opened the door for African National Congress (ANC) members, who are worried about his leadership, to defy the party line by voting to oust Zuma.
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema says his party’s long-running campaign against Zuma is yielding results.
From Parliament to the country’s courts, opposition politicians are keeping up the pressure on all fronts.
Maimane says: “We have two court cases coming up now. We’ve got one in September against Jacob Zuma, and that we’ll continue to fight.”
Zuma may have survived another attempt to unseat him in Parliament, but he will soon have to defend himself in court as opposition politicians are seeking to have him impeached.
They have turned to the Constitutional Court to force the Speaker to act against Zuma over his handling of the Nkandla saga.
Malema says they are very happy with the outcome of the secret ballot in the motion of no confidence against Zuma.
Malema says for the first time 26 ANC members voted with the opposition.
The leader of the red berets says these results mean the tide is turning against the ANC.
“We’re going to be putting more pressure. ANC is coming to their senses.
“It’s only those who can't think [who] are calling a motion of no confidence a coup. There are cracks in the ANC. There's no unity in the ANC, they chose a criminal over the people.”
Malema says the opposition has a reason to celebrate because they see the enemy is shaking.
Meanwhile, ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu was delighted that the motion was defeated. It’s been a tense time for the party with uncertainty and internal tensions over this vote.
“What we are happy about is that we have defeated the motion. That was the most important focus of the ANC parliamentarians here.”
Mthembu says the party will deal with all issues internally, but not by removing Zuma from office.
He says to have done so would have emboldened the opposition to start on their election campaign for 2019.
Mthembu says a vote against Zuma would have fractured and weakened the party.
“Difficulties of alleged rampant corruption we must deal with. We are still committed to dealing with all these issues. But as we’ve stated, we did not believe that dealing with these issues would be by removing Zuma.”
Opposition parties were also jubilant because the results show at least 26 ANC MPs voted in favour of ousting President Zuma.
Holomisa says the motion of no confidence does not signal the end of the party's quest to remove Zuma.
“Oh yes, it went to the wire because there are only 11 votes which divided us. It’s not the same ANC which always boasts it’s got the numbers, this time we reduced them to nothing.”
Because it was a secret ballot, it’s not possible to know how many ANC MPs chose to abstain or who went against the party line, but the bottom line is that Zuma has survived.