Several opposition parties, including the DA and EFF, announced yesterday that they would request the speaker of Parliament, Baleka Mbete, to schedule an earlier motion of no confidence vote in President Jacob Zuma and called for the dissolution of the national legislature.
Mbete had originally scheduled the motion of no confidence debate in Zuma for February 22, and the EFF has extended its deadline for her to respond to their demands until 1pm today or face legal action.
The opposition parties made the announcement in the wake of the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) meeting at St Georges Hotel in Irene, near Pretoria, which resolved to recall Zuma from office as state president.
According to media reports, the NEC meeting ended in a stalemate, with Zuma refusing to step down. It’s understood the president requested to remain at the Union Buildings for a further three months, a request that was rejected by the NEC.
The NEC reportedly then decided to request in writing that Zuma should resign. ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule and his deputy, Jessie Duarte, are understood to be meeting with Zuma this morning at his official Pretoria residence, Mahlamba Ndlopfu.
A media briefing on Zuma’s fate has been scheduled for 2pm this afternoon, where the ANC’s national officials are expected to inform the nation on the party’s transition talks, which have lasted several weeks and resulted in the postponement of the State of Nation Address last Thursday.
On Monday, opposition parties took a “unanimous” decision that Zuma should be removed “through a Motion of No Confidence vote in terms of Section 102 of the Constitution, followed by the dissolution of Parliament in terms of Section 50 of the Constitution”, a DA media statement said.
Should Mbete and the chairperson of the national council of provinces, Thandi Modise, accede to the written submissions by the opposition parties, the country could be in for major political developments.
Meanwhile, UDM leader Bantu Holomisa – who was party to the call made by the opposition yesterday – tweeted this morning: “#SpeakerBalekaMbethe responded on motion of no- confidence debate. She says she is consulting Chief Whip of the ANC & leader of business Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. EFF has extended the court deadline up to 13.00.”
South Africans will be waiting with bated breath to find out this afternoon whether the ruling party will side with the opposition by calling for the prioritisation of the motion of no confidence, and if so, whether ANC MPs would vote with their counterparts in parliament during those proceedings.