Mthembu: No ANC MP should join DA in motion vote, it’s unthinkable

Jackson Mthembu says it’s unthinkable for ANC members who are deployed by their party to support a DA-sponsored motion to get rid of the president.

ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu at The Gathering: Media Edition at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on 3 August 2017. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN.

CAPE TOWN – African National Congress (ANC) Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu says his party wants to protect the country’s electoral system by defeating the Democratic Alliance (DA)-sponsored Motion of No Confidence in President Jacob Zuma.

The current electoral regime places political authority to deploy MPs in the hands of the respective parties.

Mthembu says the ANC does not want to set a precedent where opposition politicians use parliament, provincial legislatures and municipal councils to remove democratically elected governments outside of elections.

South Africa does not have a Presidential electoral system. Instead, a party decides who will be the presidential candidate and which members go to Parliament.

Mthembu says it’s unthinkable for ANC members who are deployed by their party to support a DA-sponsored motion to get rid of the president.

“You’ll create a serious crisis of unmanageable proportions if you were to allow that.”

The vote is scheduled to take place on Tuesday 8 August.

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete has yet to announce whether parliamentarians will be allowed to vote in secret.

Opposition parties believe a secret ballot is crucial because it would allow ANC members to vote with their conscience.

Mthembu said the motion will be defeated regardless of whether the vote is open or not.

“Because this opposition wants to remove the ANC government. Now, who in his right mind from the ANC desks would then assist such an opposition in removing its government?”

Former Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom on Thursday revealed more than half of the ANC’s MPs were very worried about what is going on in the country considering the state capture revelations.

In 2008, former President Thabo Mbeki resigned from office after he was recalled by the ANC’s national executive committee.

Although the same decision-making body reportedly discussed a motion of no confidence in Zuma, there was no decision to recall him.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)