Mmusi Maimane said Tuesday’s “motion of no confidence is not like any other that proceeded it”.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) leader tied the action in the legislature to his party’s election tagline: “This motion is about the 8.2-million South Africans who will never find a job as long as President Jacob Zuma has one.”
Maimane said that “all 249 African national Congress (ANC) members of Parliament (MPs) will have to choose between their loyalty to South Africa and its people‚ and their loyalty to Zuma”.
“If the ANC really does represent the people of South Africa and have their best interests at heart‚ then a vote of no confidence in President Zuma ought to be unanimously agreed upon by the ANC caucus.”
As he wanted the ANC MPs to be “able to vote with their conscience‚ and not with the fear of persecution and internal ramifications”‚ Maimane had requested that voting on the motion “be done via secret ballot”.
While the DA had lobbied ANC MPs‚ Maimane stressed that “this is certainly not about party-politics”‚ but “rather this is millions of South Africans urging ANC MPs to put our country first and vote with their conscience”.
The motion was brought‚ he said‚ “following Zuma’s unthinkable decision to fire Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene last year”.
“South Africans demand that Jacob Zuma be taken to task for his reckless handling of our economy‚ and his sending South Africa into financial crisis – and a motion of no confidence is the best mechanism to ensure that President Zuma is fired‚ once and for all‚” Maimane said.
“It has become common cause that under Jacob Zuma’s leadership‚ our country is spiralling downward – and doing so at an alarmingly fast rate.
“With President Zuma at the head of our economy‚ the hope of a better life for all South Africans will never become a reality.”