Johannesburg - The ANC’s head of organising Fikile Mbalula says ANC Members of Parliament (MPs) who want to vote with the opposition in the no confidence vote against President Jacob Zuma will be committing political “suicide” as they will face disciplinary procedure.
Mbalula was speaking at the ANC’s six day Policy Conference in Soweto on Sunday, where he was briefing the media of his presentation to the commission discussing organisational renewal.
He denied that MPs were being threatened after some party members expressed their dissatisfaction with any possible move by the ANC caucus in Parliament to vote with opposition parties in a no confidence vote.
“The ANC MPs in Parliament are accountable to the National Executive Committee (NEC), and the NEC has debated at length the motion of no confidence in the President. That decision is that we will not withdraw our President from Parliament and we will not withdraw our President from the executive,” said Mbalula.
“So all party members, according to ANC discipline, are supposed to follow that position. The extent to which people will be ill-disciplined, the ANC will have to apply disciplinary procedure for those who want to use the so-called “conscious vote” to determine their voting in Parliament,” he warned.
That vote is expected to take place on August 8 and not on August 3 as intended as there is a cabinet legotla taking place on same week.
Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete made the announcement last week and said she was still considering whether the vote should be held through a secret ballot or not.
Opposition parties had approached the Constitutional Court to ask it to compel Mbete to hold a no confidence vote in secret. The court ruled that it could not order Mbete to hold such a vote, but said she in fact had the powers to make such a decision – even though she argued that she does not.
Mbalula also spoke about some of the issues he presented to the commission, such as the proposal of expanding the top leadership structure of the ANC – an idea that was proposed by the ANC Youth League and others, according to Mbalula.
He said the reason given for the expansion, was to increase the capacity of Luthuli House to implement policy decisions. The structure would be a standalone structure that would have to be accommodated in the party’s constitution – if the decision is agreed on.
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