Dear Mam Baleka
Recently, there was a motion of no confidence in the President of South Africa by the opposition parties. The biggest challenge was not the motion but the fact that the opposition sought to have the vote conducted in a secret ballot – a matter which ended in the Constitutional Court. The Constitutional Court placed the responsibility firmly in your hands as the Speaker. Although the court placed the responsibility in your hands they asked you to consider the issues very carefully before reaching your decision.
There were many views that were expressed on the matter including the media propelling a view that the majority of the country does not want President Zuma to continue serving as the president. Naturally,in a democracy you have opposing views and the media’s propaganda expresses the views of those who oppose President Zuma.
Now, Mam Baleka, we all know what would happen if the majority had lost faith in President Zuma, the National Executive Committee (NEC) would simply recall the President. This has not occurred, in fact the NEC has decided to continue supporting the President and instructed all members deployed to Parliament to do the same. Although the members of Parliament must abide by the Constitution of the Republic they are not directly voted into Parliament by the populace, they are deployed by their various parties and therefore their “personal conscience” must be balanced against the interests of the 11 million voters who voted for the ANC in 2014.
Mam Baleka, I am Zizamele Madlala, the spokesperson for the Black Empowerment Foundation (BEF). The BEF is an apolitical organisation that is the voice of the masses of black individuals within the Republic who find themselves in abject poverty, excluded from participating in the economy and benefitting from the natural riches of the land of their forefathers under the manipulation of a minority that has co-opted some of their leaders to continue and maintain their dominance.
Mam Baleka, prior to penning this letter, I once again read your statement in which you justified your decision to hold the vote by secret ballot. I noted that points 3, 4 and 5 seem to support that the vote should be held in secret. On the other hand, points 7,8,9 and 10 seem to support that the vote should be held openly. https://www.parliament.gov.za/press-releases/statement-speaker-national-assembly-appropriate-voting-procedure-regarding-motion-no-confidence-president I therefore cannot reconcile your decision and the basis thereof especially given allegations and rumours that are as follows:
- There were rumours that ANC MPs were bribed with monies up to R 2 billion to vote in favour of the motion.
- One individual is alleged to have received an amount of R 25 million.
- It is also alleged that you desired the motion to succeed because should the motion have succeeded the whole executive would be forced to resign and you would be appointed President until fresh elections were held.
The above allegations are very serious, Mam Baleka and I would like you to respond especially taking into consideration that you are also the Chairperson of the highest decision-making body of the ANC between conferences. The ANC was voted into power by 62% of the individuals who voted in 2014 and I do not concur with your decision especially in the context of point 13. The reasons for my disagreement are as follows:
- If the motion had succeeded, then the choice of 62% of the voters would have been subverted through manipulation of processes by the minority.
- The official opposition openly indicated that they desired regime change and the only fair way of determining what the populace seeks would have been to call for a referendum.
- The allegations of MPs being bought are very serious and it is essential for MPs to be accountable for the decisions they take on our behalf.
Finally, Mam Baleka, as the Chairperson of the ANC and a disciplined cadre, I am certain that you support the principles of democratic centralism. There are members of the NEC that have openly defied the positions of the ANC and have spoken on opposition platforms attacking the very ANC that they are meant to serve and protect. This includes the chairperson of the National Disciplanary Committee. The following questions arise:
- What are you going to do about it?
- This action has opened a Pandora’s box and from here on, we shall always face the risk that the will of the people can be subverted by people seeking to further their own ends. How will you be addressing it as the leadership?
- The constitution of your organisation is very clear and states the following:
“25.3 Any member, office bearer or public representative who fails, refuses and/or neglects to abide by the provisions of the Constitution of the ANC, its Standing Orders, Rules, Regulations, Resolutions and policies adopted or made in terms of the Constitution shall be liable to be disciplined in terms of this Constitution.”
“25.4 The ANC shall have jurisdiction to discipline any member, office bearer or public representative for committing any act of misconduct as contained in Rule 25.17 below as a member of the ANC and/or by virtue of his or her contract of deployment and/or by virtue of his or her membership of any of the structures of the ANC.”
“25.17 The following conduct by a member, officer bearer or public representative shall constitute misconduct in respect of which disciplinary proceedings may be invoked and instituted against him or her:
“25.17.3 Failing, refusing or neglecting to execute or comply with any ANC Policy, Standing Order, Rule, Regulation or Resolution adopted or made in terms of this Constitution or breaching the provisions of this Constitution;
“25.17.4 Behaving in a manner or making any utterance which brings or could bring or has the potential to bring or as a consequence thereof brings the ANC into disrepute;”
“25.17.9 Participating in any organised factional activity that goes beyond the recognised norms of free debate inside the ANC and which threatens its unity;”
“25.17.16 Prejudicing the integrity or repute of the Organisation, its personnel or its operational capacity by:
18.104.22.168 impeding the activities of the Organisation;
22.214.171.124 creating divisions within its ranks or membership;
126.96.36.199 doing any other act which undermines the ANC’s effectiveness as an organisation; or
188.8.131.52 acting on behalf of or in collaboration with:
- counter-revolutionary forces;
- a political organisation or party other than an organisation or party in alliance with the ANC in a manner contrary to the aims, policies and objectives of the ANC;
- intelligence or the security services of other countries; or
- any person or group who seriously interferes with the work of the Organisation or prevents it from fulfilling its mission and objectives.”
These provisions are very clear Mam Baleka, and as the Chair of the bodies that lead the ANC, what will you be doing about?
Mam Baleka, I believe that you are a seasoned cadre and I trust that you will exercise your discretion and leadership qualities to ensure that the movement that was set to liberate our people does not fracture into many pieces. Uwumama, kanti uma sekonakele sidinga omama ukuthi bayibambe ishisa, basivekele. Mam Baleka, ngivala ngokuthi, NIZOKWENZANI?
Yours humbly and faithfully
Zizamele “Zamo” Madlala