The expectations of the people has been made very clear in various demonstrations, #ZumaMustGo and #SaveSA campaigns and endless interviews. The “populus” – meaning “you and me” – forms the basis of democracy as it is the “kratos” (Power) that should emanate from the “demos” (Public). But what is desired by the vast majority of the South African People, has been limited in its implementation by means of the “General Elections” held every five years. But this election determines the composition of parliament only, while the President is thereafter elected by the National Assembly, s86 of the Constitution.
Therefore it is not the “Power of the People” that may finally lead to Zuma’s demise, it is the cabinet in terms of s102(2) that may pass a majority vote of no confidence to not only getting rid of the President but all ministers as well. The eighth vote of no confidence application will be heard tomorrow, Tuesday 8 of Month 8! As per court verdict the Speaker of the House will decide if suvh votes will be given in secret or openly as in all seven votes before.
Is there hope for “Change”?
Activists with close knowledge of the African National Congress’ (ANC) parliamentary caucus say that with or without the deployment of a secret ballot in Tuesday’s eighth motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma, it is unlikely to succeed. The motion brought by Bantu Holomisa, leader of the United Democratic Movement (UDM), to oust Zuma needs to pass with a simple majority. This will require that, in addition to the full opposition party complement, 50 ANC MP’s need to swing behind the motion.
But even with a groundswell of support for the no-confidence vote outside parliament, the yea’s (those who support the motion) are unlikely to succeed, say analysts. This is because:
* South Africa’s system of representation at national level is party-based, not constituency based and the party rules. ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu has called a three-line whip in the caucus which enforces presence and discipline for Tuesday’s vote.
* The current complement of ANC MP’s is unlike the first cohort the governing party sent to the houses of parliament. With notable exceptions, they do not have options for livelihoods outside parliament that would offer the same income, so job security is a factor.
* There is a view even among Zuma’s detractors in the caucus that they are of more use inside the tent than outside it as dissenters. Commentators point to the new muscular position that parliament has taken on the SABC and the inquiry into the state capture, which has raised the spectre of the Gupta family being called before it.
* If the motion succeeds, the ANC would be likely to remove those who vote in favour of the motion and this would pack the house with a higher complement of Zuma loyalists building support for Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, his favoured candidate to lead the ANC from December.
* There is a real chance that the ANC could lose significant power if a snap election is held as must happen should the ANC be unable to decide who should become president post-Zuma within the constitutionally prescribed 30 days.
* Zuma runs a gargantuan sized executive of 75 ministers and deputy ministers who will lose their jobs if he loses his. This adds to the risk of a successful no confidence motion.
The entire decision may return to court. While the Constitutional Court said the decision about whether or not to allow a secret ballot rests with the speaker, it entreated her to make the decision independently, rationally and with the requirement of accountability top of mind. The EFF has already briefed lawyers to take the speaker straight to two courts if she does not allow a secret ballot, which would give ANC MP’s the space to vote their conscience rather than their party membership without risk of censure.
It all boils down for a lot of ANC members to swing the vote against Zuma around, but who is likely to vote his paymaster out????