Following the results of the no-confidence vote last week, President Jacob Zuma has spoken out against ANC MPs who voted for the motion to succeed, saying they should be identified and disciplined.
The vote, carried out in secret as per the recommendations of the ConCourt, saw around 30 ANC MPs add their voices to the opposition’s call for Zuma to step down.
President Zuma and some of his cabinet ministers have begun hinting at potential witch hunts to expose these party members while others have voiced concern over this persecution, deepening already existing rifts within the party.
Last week, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula tweeted that party MPs present at the vote should undergo a lie-detector test to prove their loyalty. Mbalula’s remarks were met with praise by some of his colleagues such as Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini and Human Settlement Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, but were criticised by others such as veteran MP Derek Hanekom.
Similarly, former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has stated that the party shouldn’t concern itself with where the votes came from. Gordhan reiterated that given last week’s vote, the question should be can honest people grow and advance within the ANC.
The vote has been heralded by opposition parties as a victory going into the final stretches of President Zuma’s mandate, while ANC stalwarts have urged leadership to view it not as defiance, but a democratic wake-up call.