AFRICA/SOUTH AFRICA - Motion of no confidence against Zuma; "Vote according to conscience": appeal from Justice and Peace to parlamentarians

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Johannesburg (Agenzia Fides) – There is tension in South Africa where in recent days tens of thousands of people took to the streets to demand the resignation of South African President Jacob Zuma, involved in a series of corruption scandals and accused of having fired a number of ministers, including Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, considered a competent and honest person (see Fides 31/03/2017).
On 12 April, Parliament had to vote a motion of no confidence against the President that, if approved, would force the latter to resign. The vote was postponed sine die to allow the Constitutional Court to rule on the appeal filed by the opposition to vote the motion in a secret ballot. Thus, the opposition hopes to collect the votes of the parliamentary frond within the ANC (Zuma’s Party) which is contrary to maintaining the President in power.
"We need a Parliament that demonstrates strong leadership and non-partisan control over the executive" says a note from the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace published on the eve of the parliamentary vote, then postponed. "We ask all parliamentarians to vote according to conscience by taking into account the common good, and not party interests and their political survival, in the vote on the motion of no confidence" adds the note.
Justice and Peace also calls on the ANC leadership to listen to people who took to the streets to demand Zuma’s resignation. Within the ANC the fight to succeed Zuma has begun, whose presidential term expires in 2019. As party leader and candidate for the presidency of the ANC, Zuma presents his former wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who is about to leave the Presidency of the Commission of the African Union. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 19/04/2017)