Saftu puts pressure on ANC MPs ahead of motion of no confidence

06 August 2017 - 12:18 By Neo Goba
President Jacob Zuma. File photo.
President Jacob Zuma. File photo.
Image: Masi Losi

The newly formed South African Federation of Trade Unions has called on African National Congress members of Parliament to vote with their conscience in the motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.

"The ANC leaders in Parliament are desperately trying to herd their MPs into voting against the motion. SAFTU appeals to them to have the courage to vote for what they know is right‚ regardless of whether the vote is open or secret. They should not have to hide behind secrecy‚" said SAFTU’s secretary general‚ Zwelinzima Vavi‚ on Sunday.

Outspoken ANC MPs such as Mathole Motshekga‚ Makhosi Khoza‚ Pravin Gordhan‚ Mondli Gungubele and Derek Hanekom are among those who have said they will vote according to their conscience‚ rather than toe the party line.

Vavi's appeal comes as National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete is yet to decide whether to allow a secret ballot in the vote of no confidence in Zuma‚ who has been under fire as more allegations emerge in a string of emails implicating his family and his cronies who have been using state resources to empower themselves.

On June 22‚ the Constitutional Court ruled that the Speaker was empowered by parliamentary rules to allow for a secret ballot.

"They are voting for the future of both the country and their own party. They must vote not for the ANC stolen by Zuma and the Guptas‚ but the ANC they joined‚ the ANC that voters cast their votes for and above all for the democratic and progressive principles which their leaders have spat on.

"Zuma‚ his cabinet and his cronies have forfeited any right to hold any office‚ as the evidence mounts daily of their crimes which have plunged the country into by far the biggest crisis since the end of apartheid. Their record is outrageous. Our view has become more and more vindicated‚ as new evidence appears in the emails‚ that several large multinational corporations - Bell Pottinger‚ McKinsey and Company‚ KPMG and two German giants - have been accused of collusion with Gupta companies in their corrupt deals‚ and more names are likely to follow‚" said Vavi.

He also urged South African Communist Party members who are also ANC MPs to also stick to their word by calling for those who are guilty to be dealt with‚ including the resignation of Zuma. He said if the SACP doesn't vote against Zuma‚ "these will be seen as empty rhetoric if their members in Parliament and government vote against the motion of no confidence".

Vavi‚ who was fired from the Congress of South African Trade Unions in March 2015 as the secretary general‚ for gross misconduct and for failure to perform his duties including boycotting the federation’s central executive committee meetings‚ said Saftu was concerned that many of those most vocal in the #Zumamustfall campaign "fail to see this wider picture and thus foster the illusion that if Zuma and the Guptas are prosecuted and punished" the country will be able to return to a "normal‚ law-abiding and constitutional but still capitalist society".