DA still wants no confidence in Zuma debate
The Democratic Alliance will continue attempts to have its motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma debated in the National Assembly.
Following Wednesday's Chief Whips’ Forum meeting, DA chief whip Watty Watson said the ANC had "refused to pass comment on whether it would support the motion of no-confidence being debated in Parliament as a matter of urgency".
The forum's meetings are not open to the media.
Watson said the DA had asked the whips of all political parties represented at the forum to informally agree that the motion be scheduled for debate as a matter of urgency.
Strong declarations of support were made by representatives of the Inkatha Freedom Party, Congress of the People, Freedom Front Plus, Independent Democrats, and the African Christian Democratic Party, who all agreed that the House should be provided with an opportunity to express itself on Zuma's leadership, he said.
However, ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga, had "claimed the ANC was not in a position to support the motion being debated because it had not yet reached a decision".
Motshekga had said the ANC would indicate its position at Thursday's National Assembly programming committee meeting.
Watson said he would write an urgent letter to Speaker Max Sisulu, who chairs the committee, to "underline the importance" of Thursday's decision on Parliament’s constitutional role and legitimacy.
"Parliament will be rendered powerless by the ANC if it uses its majority to block this no-confidence motion.
"It must be made clear to the Speaker that this motion, provided for by the Constitution, does not require consensus," he said.
Last week, DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko gave notice in the Assembly of a motion of no confidence in Zuma.
The motion was brought on the grounds "that under his leadership the justice system has been politicised and weakened; corruption has spiralled out of control; unemployment continues to increase, the economy is weakening, and, the right of access to quality education has been violated".
The motion was "mandated" by eight opposition parties, including the ACDP, the Azanian People's Organisation, Cope, FF Plus, IFP, the United Christian Democratic Party, and the United Democratic Movement.
The African National Congress, in a statement afterwards, labelled the notice of motion a "desperate, if not silly, publicity stunt".
The ANC said it "reaffirms its resolve to quash any frivolous and narrow publicity-seeking gimmicks masquerading as motions in the National Assembly by some opposition parties.
At the same time, Motshekga gave notice of a motion proposing that the Assembly "reaffirm its full confidence in the able leadership of President Jacob Zuma".