Speaker clears Zuma sacking vote

South Africa’s Parliament to debate a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.

Wednesday January 13 2016

South African President Jacob Zuma (left) and South African International Relations and Cooperation Minister of Maite Nkoana-Mashabane during the 5th BRICS summit on March 27, 2013 in Durban. South Africa’s Parliament is set to debate a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma. PHOTO | ALEXANDER JOE |

South African President Jacob Zuma (left) and South African International Relations and Cooperation Minister of Maite Nkoana-Mashabane during the 5th BRICS summit on March 27, 2013 in Durban. South Africa’s Parliament is set to debate a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma. PHOTO | ALEXANDER JOE | AFP

By PETER DUBE
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PRETORIA, Tuesday

South Africa’s Parliament is set to debate a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.

Main opposition, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in December called for the debate, following president Zuma’s surprise Cabinet reshuffle last year.

This came after the South African leader’s surprise removal of finance minister Nhlanhla Nene.

He replaced him with little-known Member of Parliament and former mayor David van Rooyen, a decision that saw the country’s currency, the Rand, to collapse against the US dollar.

The president then handed Pravin Gordhan his second term as finance minister after replacing Van Rooyen.

MOTION GIVEN GREEN LIGHT

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete has agreed to DA’s request to schedule a motion of no confidence in Mr Zuma.

Ms Mbete, in a letter to DA leader Mmusi Maimane, said the motion would be published in the first available order paper of the year and that she was consulting with the leader of government business, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, and the chief whip of the ANC so as to schedule a debate “within a reasonable period given the programme of the Assembly”. Mr Maimane, said it was imperative for Parliament to debate the motion.

(READ: South Africa's rand falls after Finance Minister Nene sacked)

He said the decision to fire Mr Nene had been reckless and irrational and the reaction predictable and justified.

“Instead of taking responsibility for his poor decision, President Zuma is shirking it.

“President Zuma’s leadership on the economy is non-existent, and he is incapable of leading us out of the crisis of low growth and high unemployment that we face.

The reality is without a strong and growing economy, jobs cannot be created for the millions of South Africans who simply cannot find work,” Mr Maimane said.

He said Mr Zuma had to be removed as president “once and for all”.

ICC LINK

In September 2015, the DA unsuccessfully brought a motion of no confidence against Mr Zuma over the government’s failure to arrest Sudanese President Omar al Bashir in accordance with an International Criminal Court warrant.

A total of 221 MPs voted against it, 113 support it, and eight abstained from voting.

In an earlier interview with the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), Mr Zuma dismissed allegations that his decision to fire Nene was irrational.

In his interterview,  Mr Zuma said the reshuffle was not the main reason of the rand’s depreciation.”

The rand started going down when Nene was there. 

‘‘There were reasons why Nene was moved. So it was important that decision was taken,” said Zuma.

On Monday, the rand once again dropped to record lows against the US dollar during what’s been described as erratic trade on Asian markets, reaching R17.99 against the dollar.

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