President Jacob Zuma’s supporters in the ANC are reportedly on a witch-hunt for the ruling party’s MPs who supported Tuesday’s failed motion of no confidence in the president, with calls for the MPs to be fired from the organisation.
President of the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) Kebby Maphatsoe – a close ally of Zuma – said he was shaken by the outcome of the vote after several ANC MPs refused to toe the party line, The Star reports.
A total of 384 MPs cast their secret ballots, with an unprecedented 177 voting in favour of motion, while 198 rejected it. There were nine abstentions.
“To be honest, we were very shocked to see so many [ANC] members of Parliament voting for the motion. I knew about 13 [ANC] MPs who were not going to vote with us. Others knew of 35 MPs. But I never expected such a big number,” Maphatsoe was quoted as saying.
He said it would be difficult to identify the culprits within the ANC parliamentary caucus because voting was conducted through a secret ballot.
But Maphatsoe said they had their suspects, such as Makhosi Khoza, Mondli Gungubele, Pravin Gordhan and Derek Hanekom, who had publicly stated they would vote with their conscience.
He said history would catch up with the MPs, and “they will be known one day”. Maphatsoe also said it was clear for everyone to see that the ANC caucus in parliament was divided.
“They acted against the instructions of the ANC, even after we had received an 11th-hour briefing about the way we should vote. The ANC must take disciplinary action against them and remove them from parliament. We can’t have people who defy party instructions,” he said.
Meanwhile, the ANC Youth League secretary-general Njabulo Nzuza told the paper those who voted to remove Zuma from the seat of power would be “identified, suspended and removed from the ANC”.
“Yes, it was a secret vote, but we are going to kickstart organisational processes to identify and deal with all those who voted with opposition forces,” he said.
Spokesperson for the ANC in Kwazulu-Natal Mdumiseni Ntuli said the party had a responsibility to lead the process of identifying those who went against its instruction to not vote with the opposition.
“The NEC [national executive committee] must lead all of us in this regard because we have done our part with MPs who are behaving like Makhosi Khoza. Gauteng has done its part to call Mondli Gungubele to order,” Ntuli said.
However, Luthuli House and its tripartite-alliance partners – Cosatu and the SACP – have urged the ANC to not track down the MPs who defied the party’s position on the no-confidence vote, but to rather focus on unity ahead of its national elective conference in December.