S.Africa’s ANC vow to block Zuma censure vote
South Africa's ruling ANC said Wednesday it would block a debate on a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma, making it unlikely that parliament will vote on the matter.
The motion was submitted last week by the official opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) and eight other parties, who decried Zuma’s poor leadership.
ANC members of parliament “unanimously decided to oppose the programming of this motion,” the African National Congress said in a statement after its caucus meeting.
“The motion by these opposition parties, which they know as anyone else its chances of success are zero, seeks to try the president in a court of public opinion and tarnish his image and that of the ANC in the media.”
When presenting the notice, DA leader in parliament Lindiwe Mazibuko said Zuma had overseen a weakening and politicisation of the justice system, spiralling graft, rampant joblessness and a slowing economy.
If it does get debated, the demand which is more of a symbolic gesture, is almost certain to be overturned by the ANC-dominated legislature, which holds just under two-thirds of the house seats.
The ANC has labelled the motion “frivolous” saying that if the opposition parties wanted a president of their choice they should do so through the ballot in 2014.
“The motion of the opposition about the alleged violation of the Constitution by President JG Zuma is without foundation and cannot be supported by fact,” said the party.
Zuma has already survived one no-confidence vote, in March 2010.
The DA warned that the blocking of the vote could bring about a constitutional crisis, as a motion of no confidence was provided for in its terms.
“To block this vote would be to violate this provision explicitly and set a precedent whereby the ANC can prevent the National Assembly from holding the president accountable, as the constitution envisages,” said the party in a statement.