Meeting to decide way forward for Parliament – Opposition Parties

Parties say country cannot ground to a halt to allow for a compromised ANC to fight their internal battles

Opposition Leaders to meet on Monday, 12 February to decide way forward for Parliament

7 February 2018

Today, leaders and senior representatives of opposition political parties in Parliament met in Cape Town to discuss the way forward for Parliament in the immediate term, following the postponement of the State of the Nation Address (SONA) announced yesterday. Representatives from the DA, EFF, COPE, ACDP and VF+ were present, with the UDM sending their apologies.

We collectively welcome the decision by Parliament’s Presiding Officers to postpone the SONA until such time as the ANC’s internal leadership battles are resolved. The State of the Nation Address cannot go ahead while there remains two centres of power in the ANC and in national government.

Having said that, our country cannot be ground to a halt to allow for a compromised ANC to fight their internal battles. This must resolved as soon as practically possible, so that South Africa can move past the ruinous Zuma era, and towards the future.

Therefore, we resolved to call a meeting this Monday, 12 February 2018, with all the leaders of opposition parties represented in Parliament. We will be inviting the DA, EFF, COPE, ACDP, UDM, VF+, IFP, NFP, PAC, APC, AIC, and Agang.

The meeting's agenda will focus on the following two topics:

- The EFF’s Motion of No Confidence in President Jacob Zuma, which has been provisionally scheduled for 22 February 2018; and

- Parliament’s mandate to elect a new President of South Africa, as per Section 89(1) of the Constitution, once Zuma is removed.

The interests of our country reach far beyond the ANC. We cannot sit around and wait for the two centres of power to fight their war of attrition while our country is left in limbo. The ANC cannot hold our country to ransom.

As opposition parties in Parliament, we will work together in the best interests of South Africa and its people.

Issued by Leaders of Opposition Parties, 7 February 2018