IFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi on Monday discouraged the DA from marching to the ANC’s headquarters, Luthuli House, on Friday, saying it would provoke the ruling party and lead to bloodshed.
The official opposition had planned to protest to the ANC’s headquarters over President Jacob Zuma’s shock Cabinet reshuffle and to garner support from the party’s members in parliament to support their vote of no confidence in Zuma’s leadership.
However, DA leader Mmusi Maimane released a statement on Monday after a meeting with opposition parties stating that his party would instead protest in the streets of Johannesburg.
Maimane said the DA would invite ANC leaders Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize to join the Friday march. The top six leaders have come out to expressed their unhappiness with the reshuffle, saying they were never consulted by Zuma on his new appointments.
Buthelezi said the protest to Luthuli House would have been seen by ANC members as an act of provocation.
“When believing itself to be under siege, the ANC will close its ranks, and any ANC leader who may have begun listening to their conscience will listen to the louder voice of what they see as imminent danger,” he said.
Despite not believing that the debate on a motion of no confidence in Zuma would be successful, Buthelezi said his party supported the motion tabled by the DA and EFF to National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete.
“We have said before‚ and it is common knowledge that this is a futile exercise until leaders within the ANC find the courage to vote with their conscience‚” he said.
Opposition parties – including the United Democratic Movement, United Christian Democratic Party, Congress of the People – said they would embark on a national march to the Union Buildings next week as part of their ongoing efforts to remove Zuma from power.