Claws out as motion of no confidence in Zuma fails
Cape Town – A motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma has failed, once again.
The motion was brought by the Democratic Alliance following the release of the Public Protector's State of Capture report.
The motion failed when 214 MPs voted against it and 126 voted in its favour. One MP abstained and 58 did not vote (absent).
Debating the motion in the National Assembly on Thursday, political parties blasted Zuma, calling him corrupt and a Gupta president.
Deputy speaker Lechesa Tsenoli had a hard time keeping the peace as claws came out with political parties taking serious jabs at each other.
Nothing was off limits as MPs' personal lives came into the fray and insults were shouted across the room.
But Economic Freedom Fighters chief whip Floyd Shivambu went even further and called Zuma a dictator who was "going to kill you".
"He is going to arrest all of you, he is going to lock you up, he is going to kill you. He has nothing to lose now," Shivambu said.
ANC MPs 'jumping like popcorn'
United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa did not hold his punches, calling Zuma an irreparably damaged leader.
He then slammed ANC MPs for supporting him.
"They are behaving like wolves, screaming in unison. Look at them, jumping from their chairs like popcorn," he said.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane called for ANC MPs to put South Africa first and vote Zuma out.
Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi appealed to the ANC to help restore "the oldest political organisation".
He did not want to see the ANC going down, he said, adding that the organisation was already crumbling and taking South Africa with it.
"All for the sake of one man," said Buthelezi.
ANC MP and Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane raised the ire of the DA when she referred to Maimane's leadership of the party as "using a black face to protect the interest of the white minority".
'We learn by doing'
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba likened the motion to global capital trying to overthrow government.
He called the motion an attempt at scoring political points, at best.
Gigaba defended the mistakes made by ANC "leadership", calling them opportunities for improvement.
"Our country calls out for a leadership that will unite us. We hear the call of our people for a good visionary. We know there are many mistakes we commit as leadership. We learn by doing. There will be no surrender on our side," he said, to resounding applause from the ANC benches.
The debate was delayed when the EFF called for a secret ballot to vote Zuma out.
The MPs spent 20 minutes debating the merits of a secret ballot, with Tsenoli ruling that the matter should have been raised on the right platforms and the Constitution did not provide for it.
Chief whips then spent more time debating whether they should vote on voting.
The sitting was attended by hundreds of ANC and DA supporters.
Zuma is going to kill you, Shivambu tells ANC MPs
Economic Freedom Fighters chief whip Floyd Shivambu has told African National Congress MPs that President Jacob Zuma is a "post-colonial" African disaster and will kill them if they stand as political opponents.
Shivambu was addressing the National Assembly on Thursday during a debate on a motion of no confidence in Zuma.
He warned ANC members that Zuma was following in the footsteps of other African post-colonial presidents in terms of his behaviour, comparing him to Idi Amin of Uganda, Paul Biya of Cameroon and Jose Eduardo dos Santos of Angola.
"Unfortunately, Jacob Zuma will soon follow as leader of a country he will name Zuptaland.
"One of the common traits of these people, they seek to enrich their families. They seek to undermine the rule of law. They prosecute and persecute their political opponents, including members of their own party.
"And when everything else has failed, they kill. They assassinate their opponents."
He said the EFF was standing against Zuma, but said the motion brought by Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane contained a "technical blunder".
"We believe that the liberation movement itself [the ANC] should have found it in its own conscience to act against Jacob Zuma."
'Nothing to lose'
He said some of the ministers seated in the House were appointed on the instruction of the Guptas, including Minerals Resources Minister Mosabenzi Zwane and Cogta Minister David van Rooyen.
"Before you know it, he would have captured everything. After he has dealt with everyone else, he is going to arrest you," he told ANC MPs.
"He is going to arrest all of you, he is going to lock you up, he is going to kill you. He has nothing to lose now."
ANC MPs objected to Shivambu's comments that Zuma was going to "kill his opponents". They said it was unparliamentary.
House chairperson Lechesa Tsenoli said that in the parliamentary rules, if a member brought any charge of unethical conduct against another member, he had to do so in a separate motion.
Tsenoli said Shivambu should withdraw his comments on Zwane, Van Rooyen and the president.
Shivambu objected from his seat and said he would "never withdraw".
The United Democratic Movement's Mcedisi Filtane came to Shivambu's defence and suggested that he was perhaps speaking figuratively.
Tsenoli said the violation was serious and he would be referring it to the ethics committee.
The debate continued on Thursday.