Marchers to put pressure on Speaker

Picture credit: Thulani Mbele
Picture credit: Thulani Mbele

Opposition parties have put the ANC "on trial", pitting the governing party and its defence of President Jacob Zuma against South Africans who have for months been calling for him to step down.

The parties are planning protests throughout the country which would make ANC victory in the motion of no confidence against Zuma tomorrow irrelevant.

The ANC has a majority in parliament and the governing party has pleaded with its MPs not to support the motion although some of its MPs have called on Zuma to step down.

A test of support for Zuma's removal will be protest marches under various banners, with the first one taking place today in Cape Town and other protests scheduled for tomorrow across the country.

EFF chairman Dali Mpofu said the party would head to court should National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete decide against a secret ballot.

DA federal chairman James Selfe said his party would take Mbete's reasons into account when taking a decision on how to proceed once she made her decision.

He said Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng had provided an outline for rationality in the Constitutional Court judgment on a secret ballot.

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa, who brought the initial application on the secret ballot to the Constitutional Court, said his party would assess Mbete's decision and consult with other opposition parties on the best way forward.


Holomisa said he would decide on a way forward should Mbete decide to have an open ballot.

"It is the ANC on trial... If Cyril Ramaphosa, Blade Nzimande and Pravin Gordhan vote for Zuma, who will trust them toward 2019?" asked Holomisa.

The DA has planned marches in all provinces, with the main one in Cape Town.

The official opposition said the motion was an opportunity for all South Africans to stand up against corruption and get rid of Zuma and his cabinet.

The SA Communist Party (SACP) is set to take part in a protest march in Cape Town today where its first deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila is expected to call on Zuma to step down again.

The SACP has more than 50 MPs in parliament and has already taken a party decision to call on Zuma to step down.

However, the party has not issued an instruction to its MPs on how to vote during the motion.

Cosatu's spokesman Sizwe Pampla said Cosatu prefers for the ANC - on its own - to remove Zuma and not to do it with opposition parties.

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