President Jacob Zuma Picture: Ngizozo Jiyane/GCIS
Johannesburg – The ANC has reiterated its stance that its MPs will back President Jacob Zuma next week when the motion of no confidence is debated.

This is despite a series of marches across the country on Friday, where thousands of people called for Zuma to go. The security cluster said more than 60000 people took to the streets on Friday in protest against Zuma.

ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu said on Saturday there are no “free agents” in the ANC who will vote with the opposition on April 18.

Mthembu said he had no doubt on the stance of his MPs that they will follow the party line.

“The reason I am saying this is because we have had so many of these motions and at no stage as the chief whip did I doubt any of my MPs because these are cadres of the movement and they understand how these decisions are taken,” said Mthembu.

He added he was concerned about some within the party who had said ANC MPs who vote with the opposition will be removed.

This was in reference to ANC provincial chairperson in Mpumalanga and Premier David Mabuza, who said last week ANC MPs who voted with the opposition will be replaced.

Mthembu said such comments pained him because he had trust and faith in ANC MPs because they follow the party’s instruction.

“We are ANC MPs. We are not free agents. We derive our mandate from the ANC, Mthembu said.

“The party political system in South Africa makes you vote along party lines,” he added.

He said the same thing applied to other parties where they vote along party lines and no one raises an issue with that.

ANC Youth League spokesperson Mlondi Mkhize also said they believe ANC MPs will vote against the motion.

“I don’t think there will be an ANC MP who will vote with the opposition because in South Africa we have a party system,” he said.

On the marches against Zuma, Mkhize said they did not want to comment on the matter.

However, the ANCYL in Joburg and the youth league in Durban organised successful events in support of Zuma, he said.

“We wouldn’t want to give credit to Save SA, led by the prodigal son, Sipho Pityana, who is negotiating on behalf of white monopoly capital,” added Mkhize.

The ANC Women’s League could not be reached for comment.

One ANC MP said they will back Zuma during the debate on April 18. He said the principle was about supporting the ANC, which was voted into office and not an individual.

Another ANC MP said he believed the opposition wanted to tell them what to do with the president.

Sunday Independent