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Opposition parties claim victory in secret ballot vote

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By Yaseen Kippie

Opposition parties believe last night’s outcome in the motion of no confidence vote in President Jacob Zuma is a victory for the opposition, as it shows the ANC is more divided than ever before. Zuma narrowly escaped another vote of no confidence, this time by secret ballot, with 35 ANC members breaking the ranks by voting with the opposition. Speaker Baleka Mbete announced that 198 MPs had voted against the motion, 177 yes (for Zuma to resign) and there were nine abstentions.

Despite this being seen as a victory by the ANC, the outcome ushered in applause from opposition parties as it meant that many ANC MP’s had voted against Zuma, furthering division in the party.

“We are delighted with the result. It was possible for ANC MPs to vote their conscience by a secret ballot. Previously, we’ve had open ballot votes, where not one ANC MP voted against Zuma. The division in the ruling party has shown what they really think about Zuma, but the aim of this vote was not to remove the ANC as the governing party. The only way to remove the ANC will be in 2019 at the ballot box,” Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MP Nazier Paulsen told VOC Breakfast Beat on Wednesday.

Listen to the full interview here:

Voice of the Cape spoke to United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa, Congress of the People (COPE) leader Terror Lekota and

The UDM approached the Constitutional court in May, asking it to give Parliament the go ahead to vote in secret. Holomisa, the party’s leader, is proud of their role in the result.

“History was made yesterday, and the UDM ‘safety net’ enabled those MPs to vote freely. We can assure the country that no amount of purging will help because it can never be traced about who voted for who nor will anyone be intimidated now,” he told VOC.

Holomisa and Paulsen announced that they will collaborate at the ConCourt in September to call for the impeachment of Jacob Zuma, and that they will strengthen ties to collectively fight corruption.

Cope leader Terror Lekota was another MP happy with the result.

“By working together, we are a more impactful force. We must tighten our co-operation. We must make our collective vision clearer,” he said.

“Corruption in the ANC is entrenched, it’s become a culture. Those who voted against the motion voted on the basis of the benefit they gained from ANC corruption. As opposed to ending it, they would rather continue it, but we as the opposition will continue to be alert to expose ANC corruption. They have failed to care for the myriad of challenges that we face as a country: service delivery, housing, electrification, water and sanitation, free education,” Paulsen added.

Holomisa said voters in the 2019 general election have to make the right choice. He emphasised that one-party dominance breeds corruption and called for all South Africans to reject the ANC and Gupta alliance.

Lekota is avid that things will only progress away from what he calls “Guptagate”.

“We have sent a message to the electorate that we will no longer sit by while the ANC supports corruption and while Guptagate flourishes. It puts its own interests first. We have to explain to the voters that they are the only ones who gave the ANC their mandate and they can take it away from them in 2019.”

Opposition parties are hopeful that with this significant stride to removing Jacob Zuma, the ANC and corruption, they are, as said by Julius Malema “eating this big elephant, a bit at a time.” VOC


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