An angry Bathabile Dlamini, the Social Development Minister and leader of the ANC Women’s League, drew criticism on Tuesday evening after saying that she had not voted with her conscience because her conscience had not “sent her to parliament”.
Bathabile Dlamini says her conscience didn't land her in Parliament. Classic. This ranks up there with 'smallanyana skeletons' #SecretBallot
— Sabelo Ndlangisa (@vhoSabelo) August 8, 2017
She said the ANC had put her in charge and she had voted accordingly.
— vuyo mvoko (@vuyo_mvoko) August 8, 2017
Opposition parties and outspoken ANC members including former president Thabo Mbeki had earlier urged ANC MPs to use the opportunity of a secret ballot to “vote with their conscience”.
The ANC said it was confident that its members would follow their party’s instruction, which was to oppose the opposition motion.
Bathabile Dlamini to ANC supporters: There are some among us who identify with the enemy. We'll treat them as such. pic.twitter.com/4EuhVzSYam
— Govan Whittles (@van1go) August 8, 2017
Speaking to a gathering of ANC members who came to parliament in support of the ANC following the secret ballot in a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma, she spoke derisively of the opposition, particularly the DA. She called them the “enemy”, who had never marched before but were now marching against President Zuma, who she described as an excellent leader and a down-to-earth man.
— Hloni Nyetanyane (@HloniNyetanyane) August 8, 2017
Dlamini repeatedly described the ANC’s enemies and critics as people who had “stolen the land” but now wanted to act as though they occupied the moral high ground.
The minister charged that the enemies of Zuma were trying to distract the masses with issues around Zuma’s alleged corruption when what really mattered was creating jobs and getting rid of hunger.
Clearly impressed with the turnout of supporters, she suggested that it was evidence that the ANC was “alive in the Western Cape” and would retake power in the 2019 general elections.
While she was speaking, the votes of the fewer than 400 MPs were being counted.
If there is a tie, Speaker Baleka Mbete was to cast the deciding vote.
— Free King Dalindyebo (@Spiwo) August 8, 2017
Dlamini has also faced criticism for allegedly being silent in the face of Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana admitting to having slapped a woman at a night club.
— Nonkhu (@khumalo_nonku) August 8, 2017