'We are ready for marches ahead of Zuma no confidence debate'

Bantu Holomisa says while they are ready for the debate, they are concerned Baleka Mbete has not announced her decision whether the vote will be done in secret.

FILE: UDM leader Bantu Holomisa. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa says it’s all systems go for opposition marches to Parliament ahead of the debate on a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.

Members of Parliament (MPs) will on Tuesday vote on the matter after the opposition again voiced its dissatisfaction with Zuma’s leadership.

They've described the country as being in the worst crisis since 1994 with an increasing unemployment rate and a President at the centre of scandals and alleged corruption.

The African National Congress is also expected to march to Parliament on the same day to support Zuma, while the UDM will be joined by the Democratic Alliance, Economic Freedom Fighters and African Christian Democratic Party as well as civil society organisations.

Holomisa says while they are ready for the debate, they are concerned Speaker Baleka Mbete has not announced her decision whether the vote will be done in secret.

“We are also ready for the marches. We are ready to listen to the Speaker or get a response from her whether there will be a secret ballot today, Sunday, Monday or even on Tuesday in the House.”

Holomisa says they ANC is "out of order" in instructing its MPs to tow the party line when the latest motion of no confidence in President Zuma comes before the National Assembly.

Earlier, ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu said voting in favour of the motion would be like "throwing a nuclear bomb at the country".

He said: “Irrespective whether its secret of not secret if the opposition parties say let's go and vote, the people who will be on trial are the members of the ANC in the House.”

(Edited by Zinhle Nkosi)