DA leader Mmusi Maimane

Cape Town - Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane on Saturday raised the possibility of an early general election, saying the political tide in South Africa is beginning to turn and the country is on the cusp of change and renewal.

"The motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma, which I tabled in March this year, is set to be debated and voted in 10 days’ time – on 8 August," he said following the DA's two-day federal executive (FedEx) meeting in Cape Town.

"This motion comes at a critical juncture in our country’s young democracy. The political tide in South Africa is beginning to turn; the ANC has never been weaker and we are on the cusp of change and renewal. Since this motion was tabled, South Africans from all walks of life, political parties, NGOs, religious bodies, and civil society at large have united behind the call to remove Jacob Zuma and his continued corrupt, irresponsible, and reckless leadership," Maimane said.

The DA would mobilise en masse outside Parliament on the day of the motion of no confidence, calling on African National Congress MPs to do the right thing and vote to remove Zuma, whether by secret ballot or not. The DA planned to fill the streets of Cape Town, and called on all South Africans to join in support of this motion to remove Zuma. 

"This is not a political matter, it’s a South African matter. If you are a South African, this motion of no confidence affects you and your future. We once again call on the Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete to stop dithering on this matter and make a decision on the secret ballot as prescribed by the Constitutional Court," he said.

The DA’s stance on the motion was clear. Secret ballot or no secret ballot, the DA MPs would vote with their conscience and voting to remove Zuma once and for all. The country expected ANC MPs to do the same.

"In particular, the Deputy President Mr Cyril Ramaphosa must put action to his words and vote to remove Zuma on 8 August. The deputy president has been vocal in his condemnation of state capture, looting, and grand corruption within the ANC and in government.

"However, for this to not just be a handy tool in his campaign for the ANC presidency, Mr Ramaphosa must give effect to the will of the people and vote Zuma out, unlike on previous occasions when he showed his true colours, when he voted against a [motion of no confidence].

"He cannot talk about rooting out corruption while protecting and endorsing Jacob Zuma in the upcoming vote of no confidence. In so doing he is showing that the ANC cannot be rescued from itself; it puts individual ambition and enrichment ahead of the needs of ordinary South Africans," Maimane said.

The DA’s petition to remove Zuma had now reached over one million signatures. Maimane would this coming week hand deliver every signed petition to Ramaphosa, calling on him to heed the will of the people and vote to remove Zuma. If Ramaphosa was serious about becoming ANC president he should follow the will of the people and vote Zuma out.

"Removing Jacob Zuma is the first step in turn our country’s fortunes around and reigniting the dream of ’94 – a united, prosperous, and non-racial society for all. 

"Moreover, FedEx resolved that if Jacob Zuma is removed as president through our motion of no confidence we must go to the polls and hold an early general election. Parliament ought to be dissolved and the choice must to be put to the people as to who their next president and national government should be. Indeed, the sooner the electorate can elect a new government the better," he said.
African News Agency