The National Assembly Needs Spring Cleaning
by Pamela Maringa
After the eighth motion of no-confidence against President Jacob Zuma, it is clear that South Africa’s Parliament needs a spring clean. It was very disappointing to watch Members of Parliament (MPs) unite against their immoral leader. South Africans, who voted them into those positions, could only watch helplessly.
I sat close to my television to watch the opposition parties put their arguments on the table. Some opposition parties such as the Democratic Alliance (DA) leader, Mmusi Maimane, and Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF), Julius Malema, called on the African National Congress (ANC) members directly urging them to vote according to their conscience. In the ANC’s response, what struck me the most was that none of the ANC MPs could bring themselves to say Zuma’s name. Not even the National Assembly Speaker, Baleka Mbete did. Somewhere in their hearts they knew that what they were doing could not be defended. They based their debate on the ANC’s party line: the vote was a coup against the party instead of and indicator of no-confidence in the leader. This has always been used to manipulate people’s emotions.
By the end of the day, Zuma had defeated another motion of no-confidence against him (by 198 votes against, 177 for, 9 abstentions). From this it is clear, that it is not only Zuma we want out, but the whole cabinet. It could be a good thing that it all went the way it did. If Zuma had been removed on that day, the ANC would shift the blame to Zuma when campaigning for the elections. With this motion, they showed that they are equally corrupt. Perhaps it is time that they pack their bags and leave. On the other hand, it is now apparent, that with the ANC MPs who broke rank and voted for the motion, that there is some morality, as well as divisions, within the party.
In that moment I could feel the anger as I realized that there is absolutely nothing we can do about it. The word “hate” appears to sound too strong now. That’s how most of us felt when Zuma addressed the ANC supporters outside parliament. Many questions rushed through my head. I asked myself, “Now what?” What will it take for Zuma to step down? What does my future look like as a young South African? How much more can we put up with? These questions remain unanswered.
The Parliament of South Africa needs to be cleaned out. We need a cabinet that will remember why they were elected and appointed in first place. There is a need for fresh ideas, new blood and young minds in the National Assembly. The ANC MPs are old people who have no idea of the challenges we face as young people. The Cabinet should be appointed because of their ability to do the job not because of their relationship with wealthy and influential people. There is nothing that the ANC can do to correct the wrongs it has done. The party has had many opportunities to redeem itself, but none of them have been fruitful.
We need a corruption free leadership that will restore hope to its people. If we continue like this, the whole country will adapt to the immoral, corrupt and inhuman behaviour of the leaders. The ANC needs to clean out all these corrupt leaders. I really hope that it won’t be too late by 2019.
As a concerned citizen I’m asking you to think carefully about who you will give your vote to in the next election.
Are you a responsible citizen who wants to save our country or are you going to stand by and watch the slow death of South Africa?