'We've been waiting for this day'

Phumzile van Damme says the main opposition has been working hard to ensure the vote of no confidence in President Zuma goes its way.

FILE: A placcard is held up by a member of the public at the Freedom Movement rally against the leadership of President Jacob Zuma in Pretoria on 27 April 2017. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Democratic Alliance (DA) Member of Parliament (MP) Phumzile van Damme says she’s hopeful that Tuesday’s bid to remove President Jacob Zuma from office will be a case of “8th time lucky”.

Tuesday marks the opposition’s eighth attempt to unseat the president.

Van Damme says the main opposition has been working hard to ensure the vote goes its way.

“We’ve been waiting for this day. We’ve done our ground work. We’ve spoken to the ANC MPs that expressed a desire to vote President Zuma out of office. We’ve tabled a petition signed by one million South Africans in Parliament expressing the views of ordinary South Africans who want Zuma to be removed from office.”

The Congress of the People (Cope) leader, Mosiuoa Lekota, believes Tuesday’s secret ballot on a vote of no confidence in Zuma is ground breaking for the country’s democracy.

National assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete has received high praise from opposition parties for allowing the first of eight motions of no confidence in the president to be determined by a secret vote.

Lekota says the decision will have wider ranging consequences than only revealing where allegiances lie in the governing party.

“People have misconstrued this drive for the secret ballot as if it’s only for the African National Congress. This is completely wrong. There are sister parties in the opposition ranks which are divided down the middle and they too are going to benefit from this decision of the Speaker.”

Meanwhile, African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) leader Kenneth Meshoe says Tuesday’s vote will be a test for MPs to put the country before their political party.

“Those who’ll vote against the motion in support of the president will be saying to the public our conscience is dead.”

WATCH: What a no confidence vote means for Zuma & co.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)