ANC has lost the confidence of the country: we need an election!
Note to Editors: The following statement was delivered today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at a press conference in Parliament, Cape Town. The Leader was joined by DA National Spokesperson, Phumzile Van Damme, and DA Chief Whip, John Steenhuisen.
On behalf of the Democratic Alliance (DA), I would like to pay tribute to all the women in our nation on this Women's Day. We must all work together to build a society in which women are celebrated and can flourish and lead in our society – not where women are victims of abuse, violence and worsening poverty.
The ANC may have won in the No Confidence motion in Parliament yesterday, but it has lost the confidence of the country.
Yesterday, Jacob Zuma survived yet again, protected by the party that elected him twice and shielded him from accountability countless times. South Africa now needs a new beginning.
We believe the voters should now have the chance to express their opinion about the conduct of the ANC in defending Jacob Zuma. In short, we believe that Parliament should be dissolved now so that the country can hold an early election.
We are sure that the ANC has lost the confidence of the majority of South Africans. We say, bring it on! Let's fight an election for the future of our country, and let's do it now. By the time Jacob Zuma has destroyed the ANC completely, and the country, it will be too late. Let's let the country choose a new beginning, now.
As such, the DA has taken a decision – in terms of Section 50 of the Constitution - to move a motion in the National Assembly to dissolve Parliament and for an early general election to be held. Section 50 of our Constitution states that the President must dissolve the National Assembly if the Assembly has adopted a resolution to dissolve with a supporting vote of a majority of its members, and three years have passed since the Assembly was elected.
Yesterday was an historic moment for our nation, as it was the first time in 23 years of democracy that such a number of ANC MPs broke rank and voted with the opposition in defiance of the party line. Between 30 and 40 ANC MPs voted with a united opposition to signal a disapproval of, and lack of confidence in, the sitting President and his leadership. Jacob Zuma has brought the country, and his own party, to its knees.
The significance of this outcome cannot be overstated. President Zuma survived only because members of parliament in the ANC voted for their own survival, and in support and defence of corruption, looting, and state capture.
Yesterday’s vote made it clear to all South Africans that the divide in our country is not racial or political. It is between those who support and defend corruption, and those who are against it in all its forms. The ANC has shown yet again which side it is on.
Opposition parties are coming together to fight the evil of corruption in the ANC and those in the ANC who voted with us yesterday are coming to the realisation day by day that their future is with us. Now is the time for us to come together to save our country.
We believe that following yesterday’s Motion of No Confidence, Parliament requires a fresh mandate, and that mandate ought to be given by the voters through the ballot box. This motion will be tabled in Parliament tomorrow, 10 August 2017, and we will ensure it is debated and voted on as soon as practically possible.
It is the DA’s view that this is the most appropriate way to ensure a legitimate government is in place, one which the people of South Africa have full confidence in. Moreover, we call on those within the ANC – who are against corruption, looting and state capture, to vote in support of our motion to dissolve Parliament.
In addition to this motion, the DA will continue with its legal action against Jacob Zuma and his group of corrupt friends. We will see him in court next month - on 14 & 15 September, where he will have to defend himself in the Supreme Court of Appeal against the 783 charges of fraud, corruption and racketeering he still faces.
The DA has also filed an intervening application in the matter currently before the Constitutional Court on procedures to be followed in impeachment proceedings against the President. This case forms a part of a wider push to ensure that President Zuma, as well as future heads of State, are held to account.
South Africa cannot wait for December - that is a pipe dream. The change we need, and the new beginning we all want, will not come from an ANC elective conference in December. We need a new government, and a new beginning, now! That's why we need fresh elections and a fresh mandate.
As proud South Africans, we must remain hopeful. This is not the end for our young democracy, it is the new beginning. South Africa is now truly on the cusp of renewal and change. And that change cannot come soon enough.
The people of South Africa – not compromised ANC politicians – must be given the choice as to who leads our country towards the dream of a united, non-racial and prosperous South Africa for all.
Statement issued by DA leader, Mmusi Maimane, 9 August 2017