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Parly: No extraordinary security measures planned for Zuma debate

Parliament's Moloto Mothapo says it is regrettable that Parliament was not given an opportunity to provide clarity on these security claims.

FILE: Security officials remove EFF members from the National Assembly after they disrupted President Zuma’s 2017 State of the Nation Address. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN – Parliament says it has no extraordinary security measures planned for the National Assembly’s debate on the motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.

This follows media reports that Parliamentary Protection Services employees held separate meetings at the weekend and that representatives of the State Security Agency, the SA Police Service and the Presidential Protection Unit were part of one of those meetings.

Parliament's Moloto Mothapo says these reports are untrue and it’s regrettable that Parliament was not given an opportunity to provide clarity on these claims.

Meanwhile, African National Congress (ANC) Members of Parliament (MPs) have been urged to look at the energy of the country when deciding on how to vote, whether by way of a secret ballot or not.

The United Democratic Movement (UDM) says should National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete refuse a secret vote, the party will not challenge her decision, however, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) says it will head to court.

The motion will be held on Tuesday in Parliament. Mbete will announce her decision on Monday afternoon.

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa says ANC MPs must think of South Africans when they vote.

“The leadership of the opposition, in taking a final decision, must also look at the energy of the country, the frustration felt by the civil society, churches and everybody else.”

But the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) has called for disciplinary charges against any ANC MP who votes in favour of the motion.

It says ANC MPs aren’t part of the National Assembly as individuals and must carry out the party’s decisions when they vote in Parliament on Tuesday.

It’s further called for Makhosi Khoza and Pravin Gordhan, who have openly expressed dissatisfaction with Zuma, to be recalled as MPs immediately.

MKMVA spokesperson Carl Niehaus says none of the proposed disciplinary measures should be construed as intimidation.

“The top officials of the ANC should clearly make a call against this motion and should clearly make sure that every Member of Parliament votes against this particular motion.”

WHAT THE MOTION COULD MEAN

If 201 MPs in the National Assembly vote to pass the motion of no confidence, Zuma will immediately cease to be the president and members of his Cabinet have to resign.

MPs would then have to elect a new president.

However, while opposition MPs and some ANC MPs may be able to vote Zuma out of power, it’s unlikely that they could agree on who should take over which could lead to an unpredictable situation.

It could also lead to the ANC splitting almost immediately before its December conference.

As both sides in the ANC may hold out the hope of winning a functional ANC in December, this may mean that even those ANC MPs who want Zuma out of power may feel they have to vote in his favour tomorrow simply to save the party.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)