08/12/2017 11:04 SAST | Updated 08/12/2017 11:04 SAST

Calls To Amend ANC Constitution On How MPs Should Vote In 'No Confidence' Motions

"One day we will find ourselves out of power... It will be taken away from us through the barrel of the voting process in Parliament, which is not a gun."

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Some in the ANC have proposed that the party amend its constitution to include expectations on how its members of Parliament should vote should future motions of no confidence be brought against its leaders.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula, speaking to journalists during a media briefing in his capacity as head of the ANC's subcommittee on Organisational Renewal, said caucus responsibilities was a consideration they hoped the party would discuss when it goes to its 54th National Elective Conference next week.

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"One day we will find ourselves out of power when power was given to us by the people, it will be taken away from us through the barrel of the voting process in Parliament, which is not a gun," Mbalula said on Thursday.

"It is equally democratic, but people have actually now been asked to become [conscious] and vote with their conscience to undermine the party rule in relation with the decisions the party would have taken," he added, referring to the August motion of no confidence which almost saw President Jacob Zuma and his administration ousted.

Opposition parties won a bid to have MPs vote via secret ballot and urged those in the ANC to go against the wishes of the political party and instead rely on their conscience. Several ANC MPs including the likes of Mondli Gungubele, and now former ANC member Makhosi Khoza, had indicated that they would not toe the party line.

'Conscience of the party'

Mbalula said the secret ballot motion, which the ANC narrowly defeated, taught the liberation movement a lesson.

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"The responsibility for members in that particular caucus must be enshrined and find expression in the constitution so that it shouldn't be this thing that caucus is independent and people vote with their conscience and not with the conscience of the party," said Mbalula.

He added that the proposal, which did not come up in the lead up and during the ANC's June policy conference was based on its recent experiences.

Mbalula again outlined some of the policy propositions to renew the party and address the numerous ills which plague the ANC, which included considerations of whether to expand the top six of the party, to reduce its national executive committee or to rework its national working committee.

The ANC will also debate ways towards modernising some of its outdated systems when it comes to enrolling new membership.

"Digital is long overdue. People want to join anywhere and anytime but they can't," he said.

He also said the party needed to consider how it approached presidential candidates, and the work of the electoral college.

Mbalula said that it often happened that leaders who were stepping up and saying they were ready to lead were viewed in a negative way, and it was now time to allow leaders to express themselves to members.