Dissenting African National Congress (ANC) MP Makhosi Khoza on Monday called on her ruling party colleagues to defy party orders and vote according to conscience on the motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.
“Tomorrow’s vote of no confidence is not a ‘silver bullet’ that will rescue our ailing country, but it is the critical step that South Africa needs to start taking back our democracy,” said Khoza, a senior MP who faces disciplinary charges for recently calling on Zuma to step down.
“Today I call on all MPs to vote with their conscience. The road will not be easy, but we will walk it together. We must do the right thing and the right thing is to support tomorrow’s vote of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma.”
Khoza said she remained loyal to the ANC because many in the party were working to serve South Africa and its people. But she added she expected swift retribution against those who vote in support of the opposition motion to unseat Zuma.
“As a loyal ANC member, there is nothing simple about supporting tomorrow’s vote of no confidence. Retribution will be swift and costly.
“Good ANC MPs who choose to do the right thing are likely to find themselves immediately recalled and cast out of the party. These are people with homes and children, with families to feed and school fees to pay. Their single act of defiance will have costly ramifications beyond just themselves and it is important South Africans recognise the magnitude of what we are asking these ANC MPs to do.”
Khoza said she had voted against earlier opposition motions of no confidence in the president because she hoped that the party would do the right thing and act against him.
“As a ANC member I rationalised my votes believing a united ANC would eventually stand against the leader who has failed us. But that has not happened.”
ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu on Friday said voting against Zuma in Tuesday’s debate would cause the government to collapse and therefore the ANC could not allow it. Speaker Baleka Mbete was due to announce later on Monday, less than 24 hours before the legislature convened to hear the motion, whether she would allow MPs to vote on it by secret ballot.
She was widely expected not to allow it.