Your 14-point guide to surviving the #ZumaVote
Members of the National Assembly will for the first time cast a vote by secret ballot on a motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma. Ranjeni Munusamy gives her 14-point survival guide ahead of the vote.
1. Calm down. Whatever happens‚ you’re not going to be getting a spanking new president today.
2. Lower your expectations. Today is the start of a rebellion in the ANC when MPs cast their votes by secret ballot. Obliterating the Zupta contagion is going to be a long and involved process.
3. The vote of no confidence needs to be supported by 201 or more MPs to succeed. President Zuma was among the ANC’s top leaders who addressed the party caucus this morning‚ no doubt spreading the love and maybe sang a song or two to remind the MPs that they will never get a more vocally talented president in their lifetime.
4. There are plenty of marches building up to the debate at 2pm – some in favour of Zuma and some against. Avoid joining the wrong one or you could be in serious trouble if your poster has the wrong “Must Fall” phrasing.
5. Opposition leaders and civil society leaders will be in full cry as they march to parliament today. If you are in Cape Town‚ try not to get caught in the crosswind of the Cape Doctor and the political spin doctors.
6. It’s going to be a long day‚ so don’t expect the fireworks to blast off at 2pm. Voting will only happen after the debate. Ballot boxes and voting booths will need to be set up‚ MPs will cast their ballots and then the counting commences.
7. Do not panic. Zuma is NOT involved in the counting process as we could end up with eleventy-seven more ballots than there are MPs.
8. Even though Zuma will not be involved‚ the counting process might take a long time as votes will need to be checked and double-checked. The options on the ballot paper are “Yes”‚ “No” and “Abstain”. Hopefully there won’t be any middle finger doodles on the ballots or it will be considered spoiled.
9. As was the case on Monday‚ Madam Speaker Baleka Mbete will probably make a big performance around the announcement of the results. Bear with her – she rarely gets moments where we care what she does.
10. You might be disconcerted by the opposition MPs being nice to Mbete for granting the secret ballot. Don’t worry‚ it won’t last.
11. After the votes are announced‚ there will be fire and brimstone in the parliamentary precinct as one group is bound to be disappointed. You might want to batten down the hatches.
12. Zuma is expected to address the official Women’s Day celebration in Kimberley on Wednesday. Even after today’s drama‚ we might still be subjected to another mind-numbing speech and platitudes about women’s rights.
13. If you’re a woman‚ avoid Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training Mduduzi Manana. With emotions running high today‚ trashy men might perceive breathing and blinking as “extreme provocation”.
14. Prayer‚ energy bars and fidget spinners might be useful to get through the day. If you don’t smoke‚ you might be tempted to start now.