ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu has instructed all of the party’s 249 MPs to attend Thursday’s special sitting of the national assembly to elect a new president of the country.
Mthembu said he had called “a three-line whip‚” which means no ANC MP is allowed to be absent‚ unless under exceptional circumstances.
Mthembu spoke to journalists after a meeting of the party’s parliamentary caucus‚ which was called to prepare for the 2pm sitting.
“The three-line whip was called long before yesterday‚ so all members of the ANC have been called in and all of them are here‚ except those of course who cannot be here because of illness and so on‚” he said.
“I am confident that we’ll have almost all ANC MPs in attendance here. We have done headcounts [because] it’s my duty to do headcounts of all. So caucus is confident that everybody will be here‚ except those who‚ for very good reasons‚ can’t be here. Like one or two who are abroad.”
The ANC is due to nominate Cyril Ramaphosa to be elected by the national assembly to replace President Jacob Zuma after he resigned on Wednesday night following his recall from office by the governing party.
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng will be presiding over the election of the new president.
The election is likely to be conducted by secret ballot as opposition parties have indicated that they would be nominating their own candidates to challenge Ramaphosa’s nomination.
Mthembu said the ANC was not worried about such a challenge and they were confident Ramaphosa would win the election comfortably.
“Even if they do so‚ they will be given a wonderful hiding‚” he said.
If elected president‚ Ramaphosa will deliver the state of the nation address on Friday night after it was postponed last week amid Zuma’s refusal to step down.