Parliament must remove Zuma and dissolve ahead of early elections

Issued by Leaders of Opposition Parties –
12 Feb 2018 in News

Today, leaders and senior representatives of opposition parties met in Cape Town to discuss the way forward in terms of the removal of Jacob Zuma as President of the Republic of South Africa.

The outcome of this meeting, attended by representatives from the ACDP, AIC, COPE, DA, EFF, FF+, PAC and UDM, was a unanimous call for the immediate removal of Jacob Zuma as President through a Motion of No Confidence vote in terms of Section 102 of the Constitution, followed by the dissolution of Parliament in terms of Section 50 of the Constitution. This would then trigger early elections. The DA have written to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, and the Chairperson of the National Council of the Provinces, Thandi Modise, accordingly.

It was agreed by all in attendance that the opposition cannot be drawn into the factional battles within the ANC. It was also noted that, as per the same Constitutional court judgment which found that President Zuma had violated the Constitution, Parliament had also failed in its duty to the people of South Africa. It is therefore not sufficient to simply vote the President out and replace him with another tainted candidate. Parliament itself must be reconstituted.

The opposition parties agreed on the following points:

  • President Jacob Zuma needs to be removed with immediate effect. The Motion of No Confidence, provisionally scheduled for the 22nd of February, must be treated as a priority and brought forward to within this week. We are confident that this motion will succeed and that our country will finally be rid of President Jacob Zuma.
  • On the day of the Motion of No Confidence, South Africans from all walks of life – political parties, religious bodies, NGOs, business as well as ordinary citizens – must march to insist on the removal of Jacob Zuma as President. This is about the will of the people and not the will of a faction of the ANC. It is important that the people’s voice be heard.
  • Following the successful motion, we as the members of the National Assembly must then dissolve Parliament in terms of Section 50 of the Constitution. This crucial institution of our democracy failed in its duty to the people and took decisions that harmed our country. Anyone who wants to lead this country must have the mandate of the people, and this can only be established through an early election.

The delaying tactics employed by the ANC in negotiating a soft exit for Jacob Zuma serve only the interests of Zuma himself as well as the interests of the ANC. While the ANC negotiates with a criminal President in the interest of self-preservation, it falls to the opposition to speak up for the people of South Africa. The people want Zuma gone and they want a government that serves and represents them.

We, as the opposition, therefore cannot lend our support to Cyril Ramaphosa by default. He is simply a different faction of the same problematic ANC.

The ANC speaks of a transition. What we’re seeing playing out in the ANC now is not a transition but simply a swapping of factions. If we’re serious about a real transition, then this can only mean a transition from the 5th to the 6th Parliaments of South Africa.