Cape Town – The ANC in the Western Cape has expressed its disappointment that a debate on the motion of no confidence in Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has still not been heard in the provincial legislature.
Provincial ANC chair Khaya Magaxa said on Thursday that it was concerning because there had been a long discussion about scheduling it and they were under the impression that some intervention would be made.
"This morning, the chief whip came with a long explanation that is not any nearer to a rational reason. They said because the premier is not in the house, it won’t be the right thing to engage on a motion of no confidence."
The political party did not believe there was anything to this effect in the rules.
"She is avoiding having to face the house. She is running all around the country," claimed Magaxa.
"She thinks if she comes next week the coast will be much clearer and we would have forgotten about these matters or that we will not be here because of the ANC policy conference."
Zille's spokesperson Michael Mpofu said she was in London to present the province's approach to education through the use of technology, at the EdTech X Conference."The trip had been scheduled months ahead of time."
Zille was also attending several meetings facilitated by Wesgro, to discuss the province as a lucrative investment destination.
"She also held other meetings to discuss the Western Cape's strategy to counter the recent downgrades by rating agencies."
'Nothing positive about colonialism'
Deputy speaker Piet Pretorius said he had heard Zille was overseas.
"Because the premier is not in the house, it won't be the right thing to engage on the motion of no confidence. But I am not sure if that was the only and final reason," said Pretorius.
His understanding was that the programme was too full now.
"They didn't say it wouldn't happen."
Unlike Parliament, he said, the provincial legislature operated according to the traditional rules, where chief whips of the parties, and not the speaker, had to decide when to schedule debates on the order paper.
Last week, a small group of ANC caucus members and supporters picketed outside the Western Cape legislature to call for Zille’s removal.
The former Democratic Alliance leader faced a public lashing following her apology for tweets she made praising some aspects of colonialism back in March.
She has stepped down from all positions in the DA as censure, but will remain in her government position as premier until the end of her term in 2019.Magaxa said they would continue to raise the no confidence motion, "even if it is delayed until next year".
"There is nothing positive about colonialism. It subjected a lot of people to death, displacement and havoc in this country."