‘We are here to remove Duduzane’s father, not the ANC’

Julius Malema says his party has no intention of using this motion to remove the ANC from power, only Jacob Zuma

YouTube screengrab of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema in Parliament.

CAPE TOWN – Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has told the National Assembly that his party is in Parliament on Tuesday to unseat President Jacob Zuma and not the African National Congress (ANC) from power.

Members of Parliament (MPs) were debating a motion of no confidence in the President.

Once the debate is over, lawmakers will cast secret ballots either in favour or against the motion to remove Zuma.

Malema says his party has no intention of using this motion to remove the ANC from power.

“We must at all times respect the wish of the people and that’s why we are here to make it very clear that ours today is not against the ANC, but against the father of Duduzane.”

He’s told members of the ruling party that the EFF is rising against corruption and the undue influence of the Gupta family on government and state-owned enterprises.

“We are rising up against the Guptas who are reshuffling Cabinet.”

Malema said his party respects the will of the people and the ANC's status as the people’s choice for government.

“We’re rising against the Guptas who are ensuring that our economy is downgrading, that our economy is in recession and we’re rising against those who’ve surrendered the people’s power into a family of foreigners. That is what brings us here today.”

The EFF leader took the floor also with a swipe at Speaker Baleka Mbete, calling her the incoming acting president.

WATCH: Jacob Zuma no confidence debate

MALEMA VS MAPISA-NQAKULA

Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula says the object of Tuesday’s motion of no confidence is to topple the ANC government and not just President Zuma.

Mapisa-Nqakula was challenged by the EFF, who accused her of misleading the House.

The Minister says opposition parties want ANC MPs to help them get the party out of government.

“They want the ANC members to help them fulfil that ambition, they believe the time is now ripe for them to further exacerbate the problems of the ANC.”

Mapisa-Nqakula made it clear where she will be putting her cross on the ballot paper on Tuesday afternoon.

“The opposition in this House are doing all they can, including sponsoring this motion further to divide the ANC so that we’re the shadow of what we were.”

Mapisa-Nkaqula reminded the House that South Africa voted for the ANC.

“Their reason for their support is that they remember that the ANC was the premier force that led to them in the struggle to liberate our beloved country.”

She was supported by the ANC's Lindiwe Zulu, but then Malema then turned his attention on her. “Next time you must bring a breathalyser here. How can a normal, sober person say such?”

Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli called Malema to order.

“You are out of order honourable Malema, withdraw that statement.”

But Malema gave in, but for his own reason.

“What is unparliamentary about that? I withdraw because I don’t want you to chase me out, I want to vote a criminal out.”

The EFF's Mbuyiseni Ndlozi rose on a point of order, saying they had made it clear that this motion was not about unseating the ANC but rather about ridding the nation of Zuma.

REACTIONS

ANC MP Pule Mabe has accused the opposition of tabling a frivolous motion with the intention of dislodging the ANC from power.

He’s likened their actions to a coup d’etat.

The Freedom Front Plus' PJ Groenewald continued the attack on the president.

“If you do not give support to this motion and remove the President, who is a blame shifter, then you’re saying to the people of South Africa: the problem is not the President, the real problem is the ANC government.”

Congress of the People's Mosioua Lekota remembered what he says the ANC stood for in the past.

“The leading lives of our movement, the ANC, taught us that the struggle we were waging was not a Sagittarian struggle but it was a struggle for the people of South Africa to enjoy democracy and a better life for all.”

The ACDP's Kenneth Meshoe also weighed in.

“If we thought the Nkandla debacle was scandalous, the extent of revelations of state capture boards on being prisoners.”

At the same time, Democratic Alliance MP Phumzile van Damme warned ANC MPs that history would judge them if they yet again chose to protect Zuma.

Four ballot stations have been being brought into the National Assembly to allow for a secret vote on a motion of no confidence in President Zuma.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)