ANC President Jacob Zuma’s grip on power is under threat as more MPs refuse to toe the party line when a vote of no confidence is tabled in Parliament next week.
The latest MP to come out guns blazing against Zuma is former Ekurhuleni mayor Mondli Gungubele who publicly refused to support the troubled president.
His public outbursts have been met with outrage by the party, with Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu
describing his rant as the highest form of ill-discipline.
“Comrade Mondli Gungubele has become the latest ANC MP to join a defiance campaign to publicly pronounce that he will not vote according to the ANC party line in the upcoming motion of no confidence in President Zuma by the opposition in Parliament. “These utterances are utterly
out of order and represent the most extreme form of ill-discipline,” said Mthembu.
Gungubele said he would vote against Zuma when the motion is brought in Parliament by the
opposition parties. He joins the ranks of former finance minister and Pravin Gordhan, MP Dr Makhosi Khoza and others who publicly called for the removal of Zuma.
“Against the facts at my disposal, I say it again; I don’t have confidence in the president. If the 8th [of August] finds me in this position I will vote consistently with my attitude,” Gungubele said.
Mthembu said the statements by Gungubele defied the political programme of the party. He called
for the organisation to take action against him.
“Comrade Gungubele has expressly defined his political programme to be that of self promotion
masquerading as political correctness at the expense of the ANC. We are calling on the organisation through its constitutional structures to act against the ill-disciplined behaviour of comrade Gungubele. His ill-discipline is no longer an ANC caucus matter as it is questioning and defying decisions of the ANC as a political centre and authority,” said Mthembu.
ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe also lambasted MPs wanting to vote with the opposition.
He said members had to toe the party line.
“We are not a party of free agents. We are an organisation, we take decisions, and we have discussions. Therefore we cannot have parliamentarians who are free agents who are all over the show who talk as they like, who do as they wish. If they think that they have no confidence in the ANC decision-making they have a right to step down from Parliament themselves as well,” said Mantashe.
The party’s Gauteng leadership on Tuesday indicated that they had met with Gungubele. Provincial Secretary Hope Papo said they advised him to stop making such statements in public.
Papo said Gungubele committed to tackling issues through the various structures of the
“After affording comrade Gungubele an opportunity to explain himself, he was advised and
requested to desist from making any further public pronouncements on the matter. He accepted the advice of the POBs and made a commitment not to make any further comments on the matter. All the issues have to be dealt with through established internal organizational mechanisms.
The POBs further made a call to all ANC members in the province to desist from making public comments and pronouncements on matters which should be discussed and resolved internally,” said Papo.
The vote of no confidence in Zuma will be carried out next week Tuesday. Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema has already claimed that at least 60 ANC MPs would vote with their ‘conscience’.
Zuma has been facing backlash and his leadership questioned since the state of capture report detailing undue influence by the Gupta family on government affairs.
In his recent address during the EFF’s 4th-anniversary celebration, Malema said South Africa will have a new president on August 9. He, however, indicated that his party would not vote for a president from opposition parties as the ANC was the party elected by the masses.
“We respect the will of the people. The people voted for the ANC unlike in the metros when they were undecided and we decided for them,” he said.