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Opposition parties present united front over Zuma no confidence motion

There’s a plan for all 12 opposition parties in Parliament to meet on Monday to plan a joint strategy on the motion of no confidence and the election of a new president.

Jacob Zuma during the nominations process at the ANC's national conference on 17 December 2017. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Opposition parties are preparing to pile on the pressure in a bid to bring forward the date of the Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.

There’s a plan for all 12 opposition parties in Parliament to meet on Monday to plan a joint strategy on the motion of no confidence and the election of a new president.

This follows a meeting of five opposition parties, including the Democratic Alliance (DA), the EFF and Congress of the People, at Parliament on Wednesday.

The parties are aiming for a united front to put its weight behind the push to bring forward the EFF’s no confidence should President Zuma not resigned by the end of the weekend.

EFF Secretary-General Godrich Gardee said: “If Mr Zuma has not resigned by Monday at 14h00, it (the motion of no confidence) should actually be debated the following day.”

In a joint statement, the DA, EFF, Cope, African Christian Democratic Party and Freedom Front Plus say the country cannot grind to a halt while the ANC fights its internal battles

Gardee says any bid to remove Zuma by way of impeachment would take months and that his party believes the motion of no confidence would have the support of African National Congress Members of Parliament.

“In fact, they don’t even want a secret ballot, they want to raise up their hands.”

Monday’s meeting of opposition parties will also discuss the election of new president.

The DA says South Africans cannot be expected to sit around and wait with no political certainty.

Political analyst Richard Calland says this is an extremely confusing period for South Africans.

“What seems to have taken place here is that the NEC meeting was postponed in the last minute which follows fast on the heels of the earlier decision to postpone Sona. Which in itself was an extraordinary thing and what it meant was a very important date in the calendar of the government has been pushed aside because of the needs of a political party.”

While confusion swirls around Zuma's political future, his office says the president will officiate at the annual Ubuntu Awards ceremony in Cape Town on Saturday.

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