Home News Zuma’s visit to city ‘in jeopardy’

Zuma’s visit to city ‘in jeopardy’

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The spokesperson for the Northern Cape Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, Morapedi Sekhoane, said that they had not been informed of any changes to the Women’s Day programme, which will take place at the Galeshewe Stadium tomorrow.

President Jacob Zuma. File image

EVERYONE is waiting with bated breath to hear whether President Jacob Zuma’s visit to Kimberley for the national Women’s Day celebrations tomorrow is still on the cards, pending the outcome of the motion of no confidence vote in Parliament today, which will be done by way of a secret ballot.

Should Zuma survive the motion it will be the ninth attempt to unseat him from office.

More than 60 ANC members have apparently indicated that they would “vote according to their conscience” in the secret ballot and not in line with the mandate of the party; with 201 votes out of a total of 400 votes needed for the motion to succeed.

The spokesperson for the Northern Cape Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, Morapedi Sekhoane, said that they had not been informed of any changes to the Women’s Day programme, which will take place at the Galeshewe Stadium tomorrow.

“So far Zuma will be delivering the keynote address. Everything is in place – the marquee tents were set up over the weekend. Strict security will be implemented in line with securing the safety of the president. No glass bottles, knives or weapons will be allowed into the venue,” said Sekhoane.

He added that water would be provided at the stadium.

“We have people, the elderly and those with health conditions, who will be travelling long distances to listen to their president and they will be provided with refreshments.

“The event is open to the public and everyone is welcome to attend. The gates will be open from 8am and the public should be seated by 10am. The formal programme will start at 11am and we are expecting the president to deliver the keynote address at about noon. Entertainment items have been included on the programme after the formal proceedings are concluded.”

Sekhoane stated that Zuma would be taken on a short tour of the arts and crafts exhibits at the stadium.

“Local artists will be given an opportunity to showcase their work and we hope that the president will support their businesses by buying their products.”

Police spokesperson, Brigadier Mohale Ramatseba, stated that the police were working with all the relevant security forces and were ready for any eventuality that could occur at the event.

“The overall security is in order and every aspect of the event will be closely monitored.”

ANC members who support Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed Zuma as president, indicated yesterday that they would also be at the stadium tomorrow – to “display the unity in the Province”.

The ANC branch secretary of the John Sejake branch, Nondumiso Buda, added that they would wear their Ramaphosa T-shirts to the event.

“We will fill the stadium to show our respect. Zuma is still our president, even though we differ on who we are backing to be the incoming president. We will also show up in numbers when the SACP general secretary comes to the city over the weekend, as we speak the same language.”

Buda added that Ramaphosa would deliver an OR Tambo lecture in Kimberley on August 12.

Cosatu provincial secretary, Anele Gxoyiya, indicated that they would not be attending the event.

Buda said that members would not support today’s anti-Zuma march.

Meanwhile, opposition parties will march from the Kemo Hotel from 9am down Pniel Road, into Phakamile Mabija Street and to the city hall, where opposition leaders will address the anti-Zuma campaign.

EFF provincial leader, Aubrey Baartman, said that the roads would be closed for the duration of the march.

“We are expecting about 1 000 people to take part in the march. Many people have indicated that they will be taking the day off to participate in the march.”

He added that while the EFF and DA would be handing out T-shirts, those taking part in the march were free to wear any clothing of their choice.

DA MPL Ismail Obaray called on residents from across the political spectrum, civil society, faith-based organisations and businesses to take part in the multi-party march.

“We must make it clear to our parliamentary representatives that we cannot tolerate the continuation of Jacob Zuma’s presidency. The president’s acts of state capture and the support he continues to receive from the ANC show that neither he nor his party have an interest in our future.”

The spokesperson for the ANC Regional Executive Committee in the Frances Baard region, Ali Diteme, believes that the motion of no confidence is a “frivolous” exercise and urged members of Parliament not to support the vote against the president.

“The ANC will not vote with the opposition to collapse a democratically elected government.”

Diteme said that he had “noted with concern” reports of individuals who want to disrupt the Women’s Day event tomorrow.

“We are calling on our people to restrain themselves as this is a government programme aimed at celebrating the struggle for the emancipation of women.”