ANC vindicated by DA's call to dissolve Parliament

Cape Town - The ANC's parliamentary caucus feels vindicated that it defeated the motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma in the light of DA leader Mmusi Maimane's call on Wednesday that Parliament be dissolved, which would result in early elections if it were to succeed.

"This confirms the correctness of the ANC in voting against Tuesday's motion. This move by the DA exposes what the ANC has always stated, that the motion of no confidence in President Zuma is not about the president, but an attempt at regime change through Parliament," reads a statement from the office of ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu.

"This planned motion by the DA shows that the DA does not respect our democracy and the electorate of South Africa. They have no regard for the will of the people as expressed through the outcomes of the 2014 general elections, where 62% of the electorate gave the ANC a mandate to govern this country until the next general elections.

"We will defeat this planned motion as we have defeated all other attempts by the opposition to overthrow our popularly elected government."

Any means

Mthembu said the ANC caucus feels "vindicated that we, indeed, voted in the best interest of the country and the electorate who gave us a mandate to continue improving their lives".

"We thank ANC Members of Parliament who in their huge majority defended the democratic gains of the African National Congress and voted against the motion to remove President Zuma and our government," he said.

The motion was defeated by 198 votes to 177 and 9 abstentions.

Mthembu noted that this outcome indicates that more than 25 ANC MPs voted with the opposition.

"We are deeply disappointed that some of our ANC members allowed themselves to be used by the opposition to fracture and weaken the ANC and destabilise our country.

"Our political nemesis and adversaries have shown that they will use any means to achieve their narrow political ends and the fact that some of our comrades collaborated with them and defied their party mandate is saddening. We, therefore, condemn their actions.

"We will give ourselves time to make a proper analysis of what needs to be done in this regard."

He also noted that some ANC MPs were absent without tendering an apology.

"Those members will be called to account on their absenteeism."

Close ranks

At the press briefing, where he announced that he will table a motion to dissolve Parliament on Thursday, Maimane dismissed the notion that it will drive ANC MPs to close ranks around the organisation or feed into the regime change narrative that the ANC used to defend the motion of no confidence.

He said the Constitution provides for motions of no confidence or to dissolve Parliament.

"Regime change would propose someone like Saddam Hussein," he said.

"The call is for the strengthening of democracy, not regime change."

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen added, "We are the official opposition in South Africa. It is not our job to sit in the corner like Pollyanna. We've got to keep the pressure up."