Zuma Faces No Confidence Motion
Under-fire South African President Jacob Zuma faces a fresh motion of no confidence scheduled separately by two opposition parties.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have taken the measures following President Zuma's decision to axe Finance minister Pravin Gordhan on Friday.
Former Home Affairs minister Malusi Gigaba replaced Mr Gordhan, sparking a huge backlash from South Africans.
Parliament confirmed the move by DA and EFF. President Zuma has survived eight no confidence motions in his second term in office.
“The Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Baleka Mbete, will apply her mind and respond accordingly in due course,” the two sentence media statement said.
EFF leader Julius Malema said they needed 70 African National Congress (ANC) Members of Parliament to vote with them in the motion of no confidence.
“We are going to do everything in our power against Zuma. We now have to put our political differences aside to ensure that there is unity of purpose to save this country," Mr Malema told journalists.
Former President Thabo Mbeki has said he hopes his successor will publicly explain the reasons for his decision to reshuffle the Cabinet.
President Zuma fired five ministers in a late night restructuring. Mr Mbeki believes the reshuffle will only exacerbate the growing sense of unease in the country.
“We respect the fact that President Jacob Zuma has the Constitutional mandate to constitute the national executive and therefore has the right to appoint and dismiss Minsters and deputy Ministers. It is certain that the major change in the membership of the executive represented by today's extensive cabinet reshuffle will further deepen serious public concern and unease,” Mr Mbeki said in a statement.
President Zuma's deputy, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, has also said that he disagrees with the president’s decision to remove Mr Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas.
“I am especially unhappy about the firing of Gordhan and his deputy, to which the financial markets will react negatively. I think it is totally unacceptable that he fired someone like Gordhan, who has served the country excellently, for his own gain and survival,” Mr Ramaphosa said.
DA has called on political parties to set aside their personal interest and support the party in its motion of no confidence.
DA said President Zuma’s decision to fire Mr Gordhan and Mr Jonas should be a rallying call for South Africans to unite in defence of the Constitution.
The party has on a number of occasions tabled the motion before Parliament without success.
DA spokesperson Mabine Seabe said the motion was the most powerful message it could send.
“As political parties, we must put our narrow differences aside.”
Meanwhile, DA has failed in its court application to stop the efforts to swear in of the new ministers.
That swearing would go ahead at 6pm (local time) at the president's official residence in Pretoria