Steenhuisen wants ministers excluded from no confidence vote against cabinet

Aphiwe Deklerk Political reporter
DA leader John Steenhuisen. File photo.
John Steenhuisen DA leader John Steenhuisen. File photo.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

DA leader John Steenhuisen has hinted that his party may argue for ministers to be excluded from voting in the motion of no confidence tabled against the cabinet.

During the debate on the state of the nation address, Steenhuisen tabled a motion of no confidence in the entire cabinet, except President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The motion would be a first of its kind to be dealt with by democratic SA.

Usually, opposition parties target the president himself with a motion of no confidence and former president Jacob Zuma faced the most motions of no confidence.

Zuma also was the first to face a motion of no confidence where a secret ballot, which saw some members of his party vote against him, was allowed.

Steenhuisen has confirmed to TimesLIVE his party’s approach to the motion of no confidence, which has yet to be allowed by National Assembly speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.

“The mechanics of this, including whether ministers themselves, given the clear conflict of interest, will be allowed to vote will be teased out as the speaker proceeds to schedule the motion. Given that this is a matter of individual conscience, at the very least we will be asking for an in-person vote and division,” said Steenhuisen.

Should Mapisa-Nqakula allow for the exclusion of the cabinet ministers, it would mean the ANC will have 28 of its MPs, including Deputy President David Mabuza, excluded from the process.

It is not clear if the move would also affect deputy ministers. Previously, the National Assembly was not asked to make a determination on the voting process because the president is not an MP.

Steenhuisen’s motion came in the same week that Mapisa-Nqakula dismissed a call by the ATM to have a secret ballot in a vote on the motion of no confidence in Ramaphosa.

Steenhuisen also told TimesLIVE there were parties, which he did not name, who have indicated their support for his motion.

“Several other opposition parties have indicated they will support the lobbying — both among the public, civil society and political formations — which will continue in the coming week.

“The president’s feeble attempt to defend his cabinet by saying that SA has faith in them needs to be met with a raising of public voices and confrontation with the truth that his cabinet has failed the people and is too big and too compromised to continue in the current configuration.”


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