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Zuma will not lose his package if EFF no-confidence motion succeeds

President Jacob Zuma during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) to a joint sitting of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces in Cape Town, South Africa.
Jacob Zuma President Jacob Zuma during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) to a joint sitting of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces in Cape Town, South Africa.
Image: REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham

If the African National Congress and the Economic Freedom Fighters join forces and are able to remove President Jacob Zuma on Thursday‚ he will still keep his package.

Constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos said if the motion of no confidence in Zuma succeeds‚ he will have to immediately resign.

“The cabinet must [also] resign. The speaker becomes the acting president in the mean time and the chief justice must then decide when the National Assembly should meet to elect a new president within 30 days.

De Vos said Zuma’s package as a former president would remain the same.

If Zuma chooses to resign sometime on Wednesday‚ “nothing” happens to his package‚ De Vos explained. But if he is impeached by Parliament‚ Zuma would lose all his benefits.

He said the efforts by the ANC caucus and leadership to get Cyril Ramaphosa sworn in as soon as possible as president of the country‚ would not be entirely in the hands of the ruling party.

“That [installing Ramaphosa as president of the country] is their desire but they are not the ones who decide on this. The chief justice is the one who decides when the election of the new president is. The ANC in Parliament cannot decide that. The speaker does not decide that. The chief justice can decide that it [the election of a new president] is done tomorrow but it is up to him. The election of the president must be held at a time and a place that is decided by the chief justice‚” he said.

Earlier‚ ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu and treasurer-general Paul Mashatile briefed the media informing the public that a motion of no confidence in Zuma would be tabled before Parliament tomorrow. In their briefing the two leaders indicated that the ANC would approach the speaker‚ Baleka Mbete‚ to amend the reasons for the motion but said no new motion of no confidence would be introduced by the ruling party.

De Vos said there were lessons to be learned by all political leaders in the country in what had transpired in the past weeks.

“The big lesson out of this is that if you are a president‚ you are very powerful but you are only powerful because of the party that is supporting you. President Zuma was powerful for a long time because his party supported him. Now they are not supporting him and now he has lost power‚” he said.

He added that the word recall used by the ANC to indicate it wants Zuma as its deployee to leave the Presidency was not in the Constitution.

“There is nothing called a recall in terms of the Constitution. What it does say is to provide for these eventualities. It provides for the eventuality that if the president does not have support for his party and refuses to resign‚ the Constitution provides for Parliament to remove him. These eventualities have all been catered for in the Constitution‚” De Vos said.

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