DA would welcome ANC rebels‚ says Maimane

18 August 2017 - 09:51 By Bekezela Phakathi
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The DA's parliamentary leader, Mmusi Maimane.
The DA's parliamentary leader, Mmusi Maimane.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane has extended an open invitation to the so-called ANC rebels‚ ruling party MPs who voted in support of the motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma.

Maimane indicated that ANC MPs would be welcomed in his party as long as they shared the organisation’s values‚ which include defending the constitution.

“The realignment of politics must be about the values that we share. So if the likes of [former finance minister] Pravin [Gordhan] and Makhosi stand on those issues‚ of course‚ let us build entities together that can take [SA forward]‚” Maimane said on Thursday.

“It’s a vision that we hold‚ it’s not just political pragmatism and finding a different home. It’s about saying‚ let us get together so that we can put the South African agenda forward and I am willing to work with people like that. They may not even come from the ANC‚ but various other [organisations].”

He was speaking at the Cape Town Press Club before news broke that outspoken ANC MP Makhosi Khoza had been fired as chairperson of parliament’s portfolio committee on public service and administration.

Khoza said on Thursday that she was considering her future as an ANC MP.

“Would we offer seats [in parliament] to Pravin? That’s not for me to say ... it will obviously be an electoral process and we would have to rejig the [DA] list‚” Maimane said.

Khoza‚ who faced death threats for her stance on Zuma leading up to the vote‚ openly indicated that she had voted in favour of the motion.

Other ANC MPs who are believed to have supported the DA-sponsored motion include former tourism minister Derek Hanekom‚ erstwhile Ekurhuleni mayor Mondli Gungubele and Gordhan‚ whose sacking by Zuma earlier this year prompted the DA motion.

The DA motion was defeated by a narrow margin‚ but between 30 and 40 ANC MPs are believed to have voted against the president.

Maimane said it was encouraging that a considerable block of ANC MPs chose to cast their vote against Zuma under the cover of a secret ballot.

“We have said often‚ and still say‚ that the future of South African politics is in a fundamental realignment of people in defence of the constitution and its values‚” Maimane said.

“We know that in one form or another we will one day share the government benches with those 40 brave rebels who voted with us last week.”

He again called for the dissolution of parliament and an early election.

The constitution‚ he said‚ was written precisely for the situation South Africa finds itself in.

“If a president or government no longer represents the will of the people‚ if it is failing to carry out their mandate‚ then the people must be given a chance to choose a new government.”

The DA this month submitted a motion in terms of section 50(1) of the constitution‚ calling for parliament to be dissolved‚ which would necessitate an early election.

- BusinessLIVE

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