Opposition parties discuss national shutdown over Zuma
Leaders of all 12 opposition parties in Parliament are expected at a meeting called for Monday to discuss their plans the shutdown.
CAPE TOWN - Opposition parties are discussing plans for a countrywide shutdown that will send a strong message to the African National Congress (ANC) over the length of time it is taking to get President Jacob Zuma to step down.
LISTEN: Mashatile: Zuma told to us, 'I'm not going anywhere'
They are also calling for an urgent sitting in the National Assembly on Tuesday, to debate and vote on a motion of no confidence in Zuma.
United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa says: “Opposition parties, civil society and the public in general must send a strong message to say enough is enough. We are sick and tired of the dilly-dallying by the ANC leadership. Why are they scared? Has Zuma got something on them?”
The Economic Freedom Fighters has spelt out its demand for its motion be brought forward from 22 February in a letter to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete.
Leaders of all 12 opposition parties in Parliament are expected at a meeting called for Monday to discuss their plans for the motion of no confidence in Zuma and the shutdown.
The EFF’s Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says no date has been set yet for the national shutdown.
“We have requested to the speaker that this must happen on Tuesday. Upon her response, we can announce as to when the national shutdown will be.”
Ndlozi says the call will go out to South Africans from all walks of life.
“A national shutdown [means] we take to the streets peacefully, with a united voice so that Members of Parliament in the National Assembly will force Zuma out through a motion of no confidence.”
Meanwhile, the ANC's parliamentary caucus has not been able to shed any light on when Zuma might step down as the country's president.
Amending rules related to the impeachment of a president were under discussion at the meeting, but ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu says the caucus has no say over if and when Zuma should go.
“The caucus doesn’t take the decision on who becomes the president of the republic. The caucus is told by the governing party.”
ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule would also not be drawn on the question.
“The president of the ANC released a statement yesterday and we have also released a statement to say there are constructive discussions between President Zuma and ANC President Ramaphosa. In due course, we will know how those discussions went.”
Last year saw mass protests across the country calling for Zuma to go.
(Edited by Shimoney Regter)