'Do the right thing Cyril'
DA leader Mmusi Maimane today made a “sincere call” to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to get the ANC caucus to support the motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma.
Maimane made the call outside the gates of Ramaphosa’s office in Parliament when he, chief whip John Steenhuisen, spokesperson Phumzile van Damme and party supporters delivered boxes containing one million signatures and a petition calling for Zuma’s removal.
“I’m here to appeal to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to do the right thing. If you aspire to the highest office in the land, your interest must first and foremost be South Africa not Jacob Zuma, not even your own political party, but rather South Africa,” he told the media.
“We call on (Cyril) Ramaphosa to vote to fire President Jacob Zuma in a motion of confidence,” Maimane said.
This was the same message he made in a video released on social media to the man vying for the top position in the ANC at the upcoming conference in December when Zuma steps down.
Also in the running for the leadership contest is former AU chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, ANC chairperson and Speaker Baleka Mbete, former ANC treasurer Mathews Phosa and Minister in Presidency Jeff Radebe.
The call to Ramaphosa was despite the ANC leadership saying its caucus would not vote with the opposition to unseat Zuma.
However, Maimane noted that Ramaphosa has in recent weeks been vocal in stating that they would not remain silent while billions of rands of public money were diverted into the pockets of a few.
“This is a time for men and women in the ANC to find courage and I’m asking him, as leader of government business and the most senior person in that caucus, to begin to encourage his MPs to vote accordingly,” he said.
Briefing the media outside the gates of Tuynhuis, Maimane painted South Africa as a country that was facing junk status and in need of a new change.
“We find ourselves under the leadership of the president who no longer has the interest of South Africa at heart.
“President Jacob Zuma has sold off our country to the Guptas, to other agents and in fact he has long forgotten why he was elected in the first place as the president of South Africa,” he said.
Maimane said the petitioners were asking Ramaphosa to do the right thing.
“I believe it is time now to ask, do we place South Africa ahead, or do we place Jacob Zuma ahead?” he asked.
He insisted that if Ramaphosa was serious about representing the people, he would spearhead the caucus to vote for the motion.
Mbete has yet to decide whether the vote will be a secret or open ballot, but according to Maimane, there was a strong case for a secret ballot as there has already been intimidation of ANC MPs.
Outspoken ANC MP Makhosi Khoza received death threats after she spoke against Zuma and called for a secret ballot.
“I hope Baleka Mbete makes the right decision to allow people to vote with their conscience so that we can get over this headache that is called Jacob Zuma,” Maimane said.
He said Mbete could not make a decision based on political considerations.
“If she comes with political reasons, we will be compelled to challenge that decision because she must act consistently to what the Chief Justice said.”
Ntate Ramaphosa, now is your chance to do the right thing and vote to remove Jacob Zuma in next week’s Motion of No Confidence pic.twitter.com/0eXdfuzcAI
— Mmusi Maimane (@MmusiMaimane) August 2, 2017