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    S/Africa: Opposition gang up for Zuma no-confidence motion

    APA-Johannesburg (South Africa)

    Two South African opposition parties, the Economic Freedom Fighters and the Democratic Alliance (DA), have teamed up to request National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete to hold an urgent sitting of Parliament next week to discuss a no-confidence motion on President Jacob Zuma.

    DA leader, Mmusi Maimane said on Thursday that the EFF would table a motion of no-confidence against Zuma as state president in the House to be debated next Tuesday.

    "A letter from the EFF will be sent to her (Mbete’s) office reflecting this urgent call. This will allow for Parliament to debate and vote on the EFF's motion of no confidence in Jacob Zuma,” Maimane explained.

    Quoting South African laws, he added: "Parliament elects a president, and Parliament removes a president. It is not done behind closed doors at Luthuli House (the ANC’s head office in Johannesburg)."

    This development comes in the wake of growing frustration by political parties, including the ruling African National Congress itself, over Zuma's imminent but slow exit from the presidency.

    Newly-elected ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa has been in talks with Zuma, asking him to resign.

    However, Zuma refused, saying he had done nothing wrong to warrant his early exit before the end of his second term as state president in 2019.

    But in a leaked recording, ANC treasurer general Paul Mashatile said the ANC might be forced to recall Zuma from government in the same way that his predecessor Thabo Mbeki was removed from the presidency, ironically to pave the way for his ascension a year later.

    In the recording, Mashatile is heard saying “the best possible way is if the state president exits voluntarily”.

    Maimane called on Ramaphosa to support the call for a motion against Zuma to ensure that it was debated without delay.

    Zuma has survived at least three no confidence motions in Parliament called by the opposition due to the ANC’s overwhelming House majority.

    "Lastly, we flatly reject any amnesty agreement or special deal for President Zuma. He is not above the law, and must still face the 783 criminal [counts] illegally dropped over a decade ago and which the courts have now revived," Maimane said.

    Ramaphosa has ruled out an amnesty for Zuma once out of office, preferring him to face justice.

    NM/as/APA

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