By TimesLIVE –
The eyes of the country‚ and the world‚ are on SA as the National Assembly prepares to debate a motion of no confidence‚ done by secret ballot — a first in SA’s history — in President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday afternoon.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane‚ who tabled the motion‚ will open and close the debate which is scheduled to last about 90 minutes. The opposition party’s national spokeswoman Phumzile Van Damme is also on list of speakers.
“Today is a historic day. SA faces a choice between corruption and a prosperous SA‚” Maimane said on Tuesday ahead of the vote. “As life is getting hard for our people‚ it is important that we put South Africans first. Today‚ MPs get to exercise their vote by using a secret ballot. I want to urge all ANC MPs to vote with their conscience today. Let us put the people of SA first. Let us vote to remove Jacob Zuma so that we can start moving SA in the right direction.”
The ANC’s speakers include deputy chief whip‚ Doris Dlakuda; former ANC Youth League treasurer‚ Pule Mabe; Arts and Culture Minister‚ Nathi Mthethwa; and Defence Minister‚ Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula‚ who are all expected to come out strongly in defence of Zuma.
The DA’s motion is undertaken in terms of Section 102 (2) of the Constitution. Section 102 (1) deals with the removal of the Cabinet‚ excluding the president‚ and Section 102 (2) deals with the removal of the President.
To remove the president under Section 102‚ a simple majority of the 400 MPs has to support it. This means for Zuma to be removed from office on Tuesday‚ 201 MPs will need to support the DA’s motion. The ANC has 249 seats‚ so all opposition members and at least 50 ANC MPs will need to vote in favour of the motion for Zuma to be ousted.
As the vote of no confidence is in terms of Section 102 (2)‚ the president‚ deputy presidents and other members of the Cabinet are all directed by the Constitution to resign.
In this event‚ National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete will become the acting president until Parliament elects a new president‚ which has to be done within 30 days.
Voting is expected to start at about 3.30pm. Because of the logistics involved‚ the outcome is by about 5pm.