Opposition parties present united front on planned march
A concerted push to get rid of President Jacob Zuma gained impetus yesterday with the launch of a rolling mass action campaign, starting with a march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria tomorrow – Zuma’s birthday.
This, as the UDM filed an urgent application in the Constitutional Court asking that a motion of no confidence against Zuma next week be decided by secret ballot and ANC MP Makhosi Khoza broke ranks with a scathing critique of how “politics of patronage has claimed the sanity” of party leaders.
The mass action in solidarity with #ZumaMustFall was announced in Pretoria yesterday by the leaders from all the major opposition parties.
They include the DA, EFF, UDM, COPE, IFP, African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP)‚ African Independent Congress (AIC)‚ Africa People’s Convention (APC) and Agang SA.
The National Freedom Party also sent word earlier yesterday that it would be joining tomorrow’s march.
The parties plan to stage a number of protests, such as the “national day of action”, in the coming days‚ weeks and months intended to force Zuma to quit.
“We are going to roll mass action towards the 2019 elections,” EFF leader Julius Malema said.
“It’s not about the EFF‚ it’s because we love South Africa. “If you love SA‚ Zuma must leave now.” UDM leader Bantu Holomisa took aim at the controversial cabinet shakeup late last month‚ saying it “started a domino effect‚ with the rand tanking‚ South Africa’s downgrading by two ratings agencies‚ as well as the downgrading of some banks and Eskom”.
In the UDM’s application for a secret ballot in the no-confidence motion, Holomisa said the application arose from the fact that National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete had refused the party’s request for this.
The motion of no confidence is scheduled to be determined by the National Assembly on Tuesday.
Holomisa said three opposition parties indicated their desire to table a motion of no confidence in the president following Zuma’s cabinet reshuffle two weeks ago, in which former finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy‚ Mcebisi Jonas, were removed.
He said the no-confidence motion was urgent and critical in view of the economic and political crisis facing South Africa. Parliament has said it will oppose the application.
Meanwhile, in an interview with The Times yesterday after her muchshared and lengthy criticism on Facebook, Khoza said the ANC had to fix its internal problems before 2019 or face a heavy defeat at the polls.
“We have leaders giving different messages and we are not sure what is going on.”
She said South Africans who had problems were being labelled instead of being offered solutions.
Expressing her anguish about people taking to the streets in their tens of thousands on Friday last week to call on Zuma to resign, she said: “I was concerned about all these theories about why people were marching and to me those people were not necessarily the ones protecting monopoly capital.
“That march – we ought to look at it as the ANC and ask ourselves, ‘what are we doing wrong?’
“The South African flag can be flown so high by people from different walks of life who sacrificed everything to participate in this march.
“I was trying to appeal to my leaders to lead us, [not] confuse us,” she said.
In her lengthy Facebook post, Khoza said the mass action on April 7 was a sign that the ANC was irrelevant‚ with chronic leadership incapacity.
“I once more choose to see the April 7 2017 marches across the country as not conspiracies of white monopoly capital but genuine concerns of the majority of marchers,” she wrote.
“I am a product of history. The marches I witnessed across the country were not different from women’s marches against pass laws.
“They were the same as the march against [former England cricketer] Mike Gatting’s disregard for international sanctions against apartheid South Africa.”
She said she had been victimised in the ANC for standing for the truth, and expected this to happen again.
“Politics of patronage has claimed the sanity of my ANC leaders. A triumphant story has turned tragic in my lifetime.
“The ANC is defining itself out of power when the majority of its people remain trapped in poverty‚ joblessness‚ dependency on state social grants,” she said. “Where to from here? I have no clue. “One thing for sure is that you cannot fight against evil if your own soul is littered with the same.”
Khoza said later that she considered herself a revolutionary and would not dump the ANC.
“I remain in the ANC. I am saying, ‘Leadership, here is a challenge and what are we going to do?’ and all I am hearing is labels.
“We need to do our own risk assessment and weigh the pros and cons. We must be objective.
“We should be worrying more about our internal politics.
“If we think people don’t understand the value of their vote we are going to be in trouble, like how we lost Tshwane.”
Khoza is chairwoman of parliament’s standing committee on public service and administration.