#ZumaVote: So, what’s next?

President Jacob Zuma faces his 8th motion of no confidence on 8 August. Photo: CC Search

A secret ballot has been allowed which enables members of parliament to vote for or against President Jacob Zuma in secret, but what are the possible consequences if the vote against the president is successful or not on 8 August?

Raphael de Kadt, Professor of Political Science at Saint Augustine College of South Africa in Victory Park, said South Africa is in an ‘uncertain state right now’. He argued that it is not easy to predict whether members of parliament will vote Zuma out on his 8th motion of no confidence and what the decision will mean for citizens, government and political parties.
He did say that if the motion is successful and the president is ousted, parliament will be changed drastically. “The Speaker, Baleka Mbete, will become acting president and have 30 days to elect a new president,” he explained.

The president and his cabinet will all have to resign within 30 days, and the speaker and legislature would have to elect a new temporary cabinet. He said this would advance the reputation of the ANC nationally and internationally. “It would improve the image of South Africa in the global [arena],” he said, adding that the world would see how serious South Africa is about removing Zuma and his corrupt associates.

On the other hand, the motion could be unsuccessful and that, too, has ramifications. De Kadt said that if Zuma survives the motion, it could result in the ANC losing even more support. “It will weaken the ANC’s position in 2019,” he suggested.

Zuma’s survival will show how just how much power he holds over the ANC regardless of the secret ballot.
De Kadt predicts that there will be protests. “We may enter a season of rolling mass action if Zuma stays.” Adding that opposition parties would further exploit the fragile state of the ruling party to their advantage.

De Kadt believes that the success of the motion is a distant possibility as there are too many things that could influence ANC MPs’ decisions to vote against Zuma. There is the ANC itself and a succession battle that could tear the party apart even more, he said.

The possibility of Zuma airing the dirty laundry of those he worked with to orchestrate the silent coup by the Guptas is a real one. There is also the fear that many will lose the protection the president gave them in terms of position deployment and self-enrichment.

Protests have hit Gauteng on the morning of the vote of no confidence.
Either way, said De Kadt, successful or not, there will be an ongoing power struggle in the ANC, government and the country.

ALSO READ: #NoConfidence: How the vote of no confidence will work

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Andile Dlodlo

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