Mmegi Blogs :: A motion of no confidence without a winner, without a loser!
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Friday 23 February 2018, 16:00 pm.
A motion of no confidence without a winner, without a loser!

Strange as it may sound, I find it difficult to award a win or a loss to either HE Jacob Zuma, the President of the Republic of South Africa or the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) and the combined opposition which tabled a Motion of No Confidence in the South African President .
By Michael Dingake Tue 15 Aug 2017, 17:28 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Blogs :: A motion of no confidence without a winner, without a loser!

Was it perhaps drawn? Let us see why an observer might be somewhat confused.

Had the motion succeeded, Comrade JG Zuma wouldn’t be the President as I write this piece. Had the opposition lost, we wouldn’t have seen the jubilation demonstrated by the opposition benches when the Speaker of the SA National Assembly announced that the Yes votes counted after the secret ballot  conducted , were 177. Nor would we have heard Msholosi thanking only those who voted against the motion; he would have thanked all his party members instead of the 198 who voted against the motion. However one looked at the event in the South African Parliament on Tuesday, August 8, 2017, it was touch and go! Before the motion was debated and voted upon, I had confidently predicted that Comrade JGZ would have a walk in the park. My prediction was that only five or six MPs amongst them the loudmouths, Dr Makhosi Khoza, former Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, former Minister of Tourism, Derek Hannekom, and another would vote for the motion while a few more would abstain. I knew there were more MPs, amongst them, the SACP General Secretary, Blade Nzimande and the Chief Whip, Comrade Mthembu and Minister of health Aaron Motsoaledi who had publicly supported the call for the President to step down. But when Comrades Blade Nzimande and Chief Whip went public that they wouldn’t support a motion tabled by the opposition, aimed at their government, Mthembu going as far as likening those who dared vote against the motion as suicide bombers, I was convinced very few ANC MPs would vote for the motion. My skepticism was supported by the fact that the Constitution specifically provides that a vote of no confidence against the President implies the collapse of the government of the day. I had thought that entertaining such scenario by an incumbent party, MPs would be a bit irrational. I was mistaken, obviously due to ignorance of the disillusionment and degree of loathing the members of the ruling ANC have for their President.

If one juggled with the numbers of how the vote went as well as the debate for and against the motion, the unpopularity of Comrade JGZ is stupendous . First the vote: With 249 MPs in a Parliament of 400 MPs, the ANC enjoys an overwhelming majority of 151. Accepting that five members of the ruling party for one reason or other were absent from the House, the ANC, assuming a full compliment of the opposition MPs, the ANC majority on paper would still have been an impressive 146 MPs, yet the nay


vote was a depressed 21 votes! How do we account for the missing 125 votes? It could be more, assuming that there might have been a few opposition MPs who voted with the majority of the ANC, even taking into account the nine abstentions which were registered in the ballot!

It is clear that polarisation within  the ANC is more than meets the eye. It is trite to say Zuma’s upbeat about the ‘powerfulness’ of the ANC was exaggerated. Obviously, ANC members and many South Africans will blame the disunity and weakness of the ANC on its President’s recalcitrance to stay put, while all  the signposts to the decline, points to him; in a way it will appear he deliberately, knowingly and recklessly precipitated the headlong tumble the organisation is taking!

The 125 ANC MPs who either voted with the opposition, abstained from voting or, I daresay, like SACP General Secretary, Nzimande voted against the motion on the principle of merely cocking a snook at the opposition, reveals how much the ANC has become a shell of itself;  expected to be firm and unwavering on its mission of liberating the masses it has lost the way and not only outsiders, but cadres who had always held their heads high because they served the ANC , the organisation that produced Madiba, Tambo and Solomon Mahlangu. A movement that has crafted the best democratic Constitution in Africa! 

The Speaker’s discretion to allow the motion to be decided by a secret vote gave many the impression that she did that, because she was confident the motion would be rejected emphatically. Calls for the President to step down had been made from a number of ANC sectors, MPs, Cabinet Ministers and retired veterans. Few however, imagined the disillusionment permeated the MPs sector so deeply. None who watched and listened to the debate on the No Confidence motion in President Zuma can claim to have heard any of the four ANC spokespersons , arguing in defence of JGZ; instead they defended the ANC! This proved that the MPs themselves had lost confidence in their President! 

The opposition lost because the President wasn’t dislodged, though he was shaken; that’s why they were jubilant with the results. Incidentally, Julius Malema, had publicly announced that 30 ANC nonconformists had assured him they would vote with the opposition. If ANC witch-hunters want to know the identity of the defectors, Julius Malema is their man! I see no reason for witch-hunting. Otherwise why the secret ballot? The opposition didn’t win, but they came close. JGZ didn’t lose either , but it was a close shave!


As I see It
Tue 15 Aug 2017, 17:28 pm
Tue 08 Aug 2017, 15:59 pm
Tue 01 Aug 2017, 16:44 pm
Tue 25 Jul 2017, 16:36 pm
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