ID calls for the cabinet to resign

Waghied Misbach and Eric Naki

Waghied Misbach and Eric Naki

Independent Democrats leader Patricia de Lille wants parliament to approve a motion of no-confidence in President Thabo Mbeki and his cabinet over the crippling energy crisis in the country.

De Lille will make the proposal to parliament on February 12, the first sitting of the year. If the motion is passed, then under the constitution, Mbeki and his cabinet must resign.

De Lille said yesterday that Mbeki and his ministers had "failed" the citizens of the country. She called on all parties in parliament to support her motion.

"The failure to plan, despite documented warnings almost ten years ago to avert a national electricity crisis, has already cost our country billions of rands in lost production. This threatens the job security and livelihoods of millions of South Africans," said De Lille.

"Government's so-called contract has been broken. Service delivery and the provision of basic needs will be severely hampered due to the failure of government to ensure that we continue to have an affordable and steady flow of energy.

"Our entire economy has been built around the comparative advantage of affordable and reliable electricity and the president and his cabinet have destroyed that advantage through incompetence and negligence," said De Lille.

She said other reasons for her losing confidence in the government included its "weak and often dishonest" response to the HIV-Aids crisis, the Jackie Selebi debacle and the corruption surrounding the arms deal.

De Lille's call for a vote of no-confidence against Mbeki and his cabinet come after some members of the Jacob Zuma faction threatened to remove Mbeki with a no-confidence vote.

It will be interesting to see whether the ANC will support the ID proposal as they gun for Mbeki's head.

The constitution allows for the president to be removed only on the grounds of its serious violation or of the law, serious misconduct or inability to perform the functions of office, which is what the ID may rely on.

At the weekend, the pro-Zuma Young Communist League condemned Mbeki's government, saying his apology over the current power crisis was not enough.