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AgangSA under fire for withdrawing motion against Zuma

The party’s Andries Tlouamma suddenly withdrew his motion of no confidence in Zuma soon after it began.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Elmond Jiyane

CAPE TOWN - Parties across the political spectrum have condemned AgangSA Member of Parliament (MP) Andries Tlouamma for suddenly withdrawing his motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma soon after it began on Tuesday.

Tlouamma spoke about the need for MPs to be allowed to vote on the motion by secret ballot and asked National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete to recuse herself.

When she refused, he announced he was withdrawing the motion.

Mbete was not impressed, she said, "Honourable Tlouamma, you don't know how long you've been dragging us around as different parties on this matter."

African National Congress (ANC) chief whip Stone Sizani said, "We have agreed that he has got a right and that right has been abused."

The ANC also accused AgangSA of raising the motion of no confidence because it was desperate for publicity.

The party's Moloto Mothapo said the party would use the debate to reaffirm confidence in Zuma.

Democratic Alliance chief whip John Steenhuisen warned, "Constitutional motions are not to be entered into lightly, they are serious motions."

But perhaps a word from the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) benches summed up opposition sentiment when an EFF MP yelled at Tlouamma, "coward".

EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu also lashed out at Tlouamma which resulted in the chamber erupting in laughter.

"Yes we want the motion of no confidence in Zuma but playfulness does not assist this house. We don't want playful games by AgangSA. They should rather dissolve and go and do something else. Stop wasting our time."