POLITICS

Spare A Thought For Zuma -- He Has A Really, Really Tough Day Ahead

A public "motion of no-confidence" to be symbolically tabled by comrades at Constitution Hill and oral questions in Parliament. Nasty.

23/11/2016 09:12 SAST | Updated 23/11/2016 14:19 SAST

President Jacob Zuma will have to fend off attacks on two fronts on Wednesday, with a group of comrades tabling a public "motion of no-confidence" in his leadership and his political opponents questioning his relationship with the Gupta family.

The Save South Africa campaign, led by businessperson and former civil servant Sipho Pityana and supported by and struggle veteran Ahmed Kathrada, will table a symbolic motion of no-confidence at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg at exact the same time as Zuma will be answering oral questions in the National Assembly (NA).

Organisers of the campaign say civil society needs to step in where Parliament and the ANC has failed and start to agitate to remove Zuma. They hope to hand a petition to the Speaker of Parliament next year and will lobby normal South Africans to sign the document.

Save South Africa is supported by numerous ANC stalwarts such as Barbara Hogan and Trevor Manuel, private sector CEOs, and non-governmental organisations such as Section27, Equal Education, the Treatment Action Campaign, Lawyers for Human Rights, Corruption Watch and the Committee for the Advancement for the South African Constitution, among others. With powerful names at its helm, it has received criticism for its occasional activism.

Meanwhile Zuma will, for the umpteenth time, be fielding questions about his relationship with the Gupta family, the subject of the public protector's report into so-called state capture.

He will answer six questions, all of which will have four follow-up questions.

Bantu Holomisa, leader of the United Democratic Movement, will quiz him about the inter-ministerial committee that was setup to look at banks' decisions to close the Gupta company Oakbay's bank accounts and whether or not he has taken a decision to investigate the matter.

This follows the unilateral and unsanctioned announcement by Mosebenzi Zwane, the minister of mineral resources who is fingered by the public protector as having close ties with the Guptas, that a will engage banks.

Zuma will also have to fend off an onslaught by Mmusi Maimane, Democratic Alliance leader and leader of the opposition, in relation to the frantic efforts to block the public protector's state capture report.

Maimane will want to know if the president instructed Zwane and Des van Rooyen, minister of cooperative governance and traditional affairs, to lodge applications to prevent the report from being released.

In the end, Zuma withdrew his application and Van Rooyen's was struck off the roll.

The report contains damning allegations against both Zwane and Van Rooyen, while Zuma refused to cooperate with the public protector's investigation.