South Africa opposition wants immediate Zuma exit

Parties UDM and EFF plan joint 'final push' nationwide march.

Supporters of the African National Congress Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa hold placards and chant slogans outside the ANC party headquarter in Johannesburg, on February 5, 2018, during a demonstration to protest against South African President and ANC member Jacob Zuma. AFP PHOTO | MARCO LONGARI 

IN SUMMARY

  • South Africa’s opposition parties UDM and EFF are planning a joint a nationwide march to pressure the ruling ANC into recalling President Jacob Zuma.
  • The United Democratic Movement (UDM) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are at the forefront in what some have termed ‘the final push’.
  • The Democratic Alliance (DA) leader, Mr Mmusi Maimane, has already agreed with the EFF to request Parliament to schedule the motion of no-confidence to next Tuesday.

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South Africa’s opposition parties are planning a joint a nationwide march to pressure the ruling African National Congress (ANC) into recalling President Jacob Zuma.

The United Democratic Movement (UDM) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are at the forefront in what some have termed ‘the final push’.

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa on Thursday said: “#RemoveZumaMarch. South Africans‚ let’s discuss the possibility of taking to the streets on 22 February 2018‚ the day of Zuma’s vote of no confidence in Parliament. We can’t rely on a divided ANC.”

He said it had never been the ANC’s plan to remove President Zuma, hence the delays.

EFF leader Julius Malema concurred with Mr Holomisa, saying those with power were clueless on how to exercise it.

“It looks like we have to go to the streets because those with power don’t know how to exercise it‚ no one can defeat the power of the masses... The masses must take over now and reclaim their country from @MYANC cowards,” he tweeted.

President Zuma faces a motion of no-confidence on February 22. The motion was tabled by EFF.

No-confidence motion

However, the Democratic Alliance (DA) leader, Mr Mmusi Maimane, has already agreed with the EFF to request Parliament to schedule the motion of no-confidence to next Tuesday.

“South Africa cannot continue to be held in limbo while Cyril Ramaphosa and Zuma‚ and their respective factions‚ continue to fight over the terms of Zuma’s exit. We need a swift resolution to this impasse as soon as possible‚” he said.

Mr Maimane said a letter would be sent to the Speaker of Parliament reflecting this urgent call.

“It is for that reason that I have consulted with the leadership of the EFF‚ and we have resolved to call on the Speaker of the National Assembly‚ Baleka Mbete‚ to schedule an urgent sitting of Parliament this coming Tuesday‚ 13 February 2018‚ for the motion of no confidence in Jacob Zuma to be debated and voted on,” Mr Maimane added.

Closed doors

The DA leader believes the move would allow Parliament to debate and vote on the EFF motion of no-confidence in President Zuma.

“Parliament elects a president‚ and Parliament removes a president. It is not done behind closed doors at Luthuli House,” he said.

Mr Maimane further said his party flatly rejects any amnesty agreement or special deal for President Zuma.

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