Phosa pleads with ANC MPs to vote with conscience on no-confidence motion

Former ANC treasure-general Matthews Phosa. File photo.
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali / Sunday Times. Former ANC treasure-general Matthews Phosa. File photo.

ANC stalwart Matthews Phosa implored ANC MPs on Sunday to vote with their conscience in the upcoming motion of no confidence in Parliament against President Jacob Zuma‚ saying failure to do so would be a betrayal of the Constitution and all that it represented.

Delivering the key note address at the OR Tambo lecture at the Kuyga Community Hall in Port Elizabeth‚ Phosa said that in this year of the ANC elective conference some in the Presidency and cabinet had belatedly found their revolutionary voices.

“To those‚ one single remark: It is not what you say‚ it is what you do‚ and have done‚ when all of this was happening‚ that will define your leadership when history looks back on your contribution. In the present‚ the electorate will hold you jointly responsible for the sickening waste of taxpayers’ money.

“I want to say as little as possible about my party’s representatives in Parliament. Future generations will look at your pronouncements and decisions and find them to border on the treasonous. I plead with you to vote with your conscience in the upcoming no confidence vote. Failure to do so will be a betrayal of the Constitution and all that it represents‚” Phosa said.

He added that same future generations would hail the Derek Hanekoms‚ Mcebisi Jonases and Makhosi Khozas of this world‚ as heroes as they had sacrificed their jobs and livelihoods because of their principled honesty.

“My proposal to the entire cabinet‚ the National Assembly and the ANC NEC would be‚ resign‚ and allow our voters to choose the leaders they want. The massive disconnect between the nauseating comfort of the public representatives and the increasing poverty of ordinary South Africans have become unbridgeable and inexcusable. The past five years have seen the gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ grow big.

“In times such as these principled cadres should confront their fears and recover their lost voices. Whatever the political or physical consequences of our actions‚ silence cannot be golden when those in leadership positions seem hell-bent to sell our country to the highest bidder‚” Phosa asserted.

“We need to eject those who arrogantly turn their backs on defenceless South Africans and rebuild a South Africa that Oliver Tambo would be proud of. But the way things are‚ Tambo must be turning in his grave. Sad indeed. But all of us here can turn things around for the better. All we need is courage‚” Phosa added.