10 questions answered about the no confidence vote

Jan-Jan Joubert explains how motion of no confidence works, how it will unfold and what it will mean should the motion be passed

06 August 2017 - 00:16 By Jan-Jan Joubert
President Jacob Zuma faces the motion of no confidence vote on Tuesday.
President Jacob Zuma faces the motion of no confidence vote on Tuesday.
Image: Masi Losi

1) At what time does the no confidence debate begin?

Barring postponement, the debate should begin at 2pm on Tuesday.

2) By when must National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete announce whether there will be a secret ballot?

Any time before the debate and vote, within the bounds of rationality and allowing for effective accountability.

3) How many votes are required to unseat Zuma?

A majority would be 201 votes - that is, 50% of the National Assembly's 400 MPs, plus one.

4) Who needs to resign if the motion of no confidence succeeds?

Zuma, all his ministers and deputy ministers.

5) Is it therefore true that the motion would collapse the government?

Sort of, but ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu is being melodramatic when he warns of this. Although the present government would fall, government and governance would continue, as provided for and foreseen in the constitution. It would be much the same as when president Thabo Mbeki resigned in 2008; some changes, no national governance calamity. The ANC would still retain the majority in parliament required t to constitute a government.

6) Who becomes the next president?

Mbete would be caretaker president for 30 days.

7) When is the next president elected?

Within 30 days after the vacancy occurs.

8) Who decides when and where a new president is elected?

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, who also presides over the election.

9) Who can be elected president?

Any member of the National Assembly is eligible to be nominated for election as president and they must secure the majority vote in the National Assembly.

10) What happens if the National Assembly fails to elect a president within 30 days?

A fresh general election must be held within 90 days of the elapsing of the 30-day period.

WATCH: Motion of no confidence explained

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