The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it wants to have parliament opened in January, a month ahead of schedule, to push through a vote of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.
The request comes in the wake of the third finance minister having been appointed in the space of five days, which wiped off billions in market value and saw the rand touch R16 against the US dollar.
On Wednesday night, the presidency announced that it had sacked Nhlanhla Nene as minister of finance, replacing him with unknown David van Rooyen.
On Sunday evening however, following massive outcry, the presidency replaced van Rooyen with former finance head, Pravin Gordhan.
“I have today written to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete MP, demanding on behalf of South Africa that the National Assembly debate a Motion of No Confidence in President Jacob Zuma at the first sitting opportunity in 2016,” said Mmusi Maimane, leader of the DA.
“I have petitioned the Speaker, in terms of Rule 102A of the National Assembly that a Motion of No Confidence in President Zuma must be urgently scheduled because the nation has entirely lost confidence in Jacob Zuma as our president.”
He noted that while Parliament is scheduled to open on 12 February 2016, the DA has petitioned the speaker, Baleka Mbete, to bring forward the opening to at least the second week of January 2016.
“South African cannot wait for answers while Parliament remains closed for extended holidays,” Maimane said.
The DA said that the ANC has itself expressed a lack of confidence in Jacob Zuma, and internal ANC and Tripartite Alliance pressure last night pushed Zuma to backtrack on his original decision.
“The people of South Africa have lost confidence in Jacob Zuma and hundreds of thousands have expressed their intention for Zuma to fall. Now Zuma can fall, in January 2016, when parliament can take up the cause of enraged South Africans and can vote President Zuma out of office,” the politician said.
The DA said it will also move for the Motion of No Confidence to be voted on only by members of parliament who are not directly affected by the Motion, excluding the votes of Cabinet Ministers themselves who the motion has direct effect over, which we are seeking legal advice on.
Section 96(2)(b) of the Constitution spells out that conflicts of interest shall not be allowed in votes of such great importance, and each Cabinet Minister must be excluded from the vote for this reason.