PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma has accused the opposition leaders of trying to use technicalities to wrestle control of the country from the ANC.
After surviving an unprecedented eighth attempt to dislodge him from power, Zuma described the attempts by opposition parties as nothing more than trying to undermine the will of the people who elected the ANC to lead the country.
“I’m sure you will remember that today’s no confidence was number 8. Always they try; they don’t want the ANC to lead. In this game, they were pulling serious propaganda and even called numbers that don’t exist,” Zuma said moments after narrowly surviving the no confidence vote.
He gave praise to the members that secured his victory. At least 198 members voted in favour of Zuma and 177 voted for him to go. The motion was brought by opposition parties and was preceded by protests throughout the country. Hundreds marched in Pretoria and Cape Town calling on Members of Parliament to use the vote to remove Zuma.
That, however, was not the case. Zuma accused the opposition of feeding South Africans propaganda to get their way.
“The interpretation of things is interesting. ANC was elected by the majority of the people in the country. No party has ever received that. They believed they could use technicalities in Parliament to take over the majority. It’s impossible, we represent the majority. Even whites fill the streets to protest. We represent the majority of the country. They pump propaganda through the Media to say the ANC is not supported by the people. They will learn in 2019,” said Zuma
Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema was optimistic of the future despite the defeat. He said there were a lot of positives that could be taken out of the vote. He said Tuesday’s results showed that that the ANC could be shaken.
“We got 35 votes from the ANC, why not celebrate. Seven motions were brought toward and we never got any votes. We have always said we are eating an elephant bit by bit and people thought we were joking. As long as the elephant is there, we are going to do bit by bit to remove him. We made history today, secret ballot and 35 members from his party voting against him. It has never happened before. The majority of the ANC showed it can be tilted. The reasons we got 35 is that many thought it was only them but now they have seen they are not alone. Come the next time, those numbers are going to increase,” said Malema.
He added that his party would attend Zuma’s next question and answer session in Parliament.
The EFF has boycotted Parliamentary sessions addressed by Zuma.
They refused to listen to him but after the vote of no confidence and reducing his support within the ANC they will now rub it in his face.
“The next time Zuma comes here we are coming because when he comes here he acts like it’s his Spaza shop in Nkandla. We will be here to remind him that his people don’t want him,” said Malema.
Tuesday’s victory was very narrow but the African National Congress maintained that they always knew they would emerge victoriously. Spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said the results were democracy in action.
“We have never doubted that members of the ANC would vote with the opposition. This motion was never about President Jacob Zuma but dislodging the ANC. Interestingly as they were talking to our members, we were also talking to members of the opposition who were not happy with what was happening in the opposition benches. We were sure that we would defeat this motion. The African National Congress was confident,” said Kodwa.
ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu said he was more relieved that ANC members did not sell out on their national democratic revolution and defeated their motion.
“They defended the vote that brought us here. We are happy that we defeated this ploy of the DA to weaken the ANC. This is the eighth motion of no confidence we have defeated and if they bring another one tomorrow we will still defeat it,” he said.
Mthembu said the party would work to remove the notion that the party has been captured. He said the notion of the judicial commission of inquiry should be implemented as a matter of urgency. “Government and our glorious movement can we dig deep into this,” he said.
Mthembu refused to indicate if they would be taking steps against members who voted with the opposition.
“Let’s look at this thing that has made certain members of the ANC be hesitant to defend their own movement even when it’s under attack,” he said.
United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa indicated that despite having lost the motion, he was happy with the fact that ANC members refused to toe the party line and voted with the opposition parties.
“I’m happy that the members of the ANC voted with the opposition parties and those MPs are safe. What it says is that the ANC is no longer in control of everybody in the country. It’s a hollow country. UDM will be joining the EFF to go to the Constitutional court for an impeachment of the president. It went down to the wire. It’s no longer the same ANC that boasts that they have the numbers,” said Holomisa.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane said the result showed that certain members of the ANC were willing to protect corruption at all costs. He said he was encouraged that some members took a stand and said Zuma must go.
“What was encouraging is that members of the opposition and ANC stood together to say Zuma must go. Today there are members of the ANC who voted to protect Zuma. They showed they are united to protect corruption. Today showed that this elephant called the ANC can be defeated. Jacob Zuma must resign, he has lost the mandate. He must resign or he will face his day in court. It’s clear that there are members of the ANC who stand with us. 2019 can’t come soon enough,” he said.