Thuli Madonsela. Picture: REUTERS
Thuli Madonsela. Picture: REUTERS

Former public protector Thuli Madonsela says she believes there is a 30% chance the motion of no confidence vote against President Jacob Zuma will succeed.

Madonsela‚ who was a guest speaker at a women’s business breakfast in Durban on Tuesday‚ said: "I give the success of the ballot 30% and failure 70%."

Speaking at the FNB Business Women’s Breakfast‚ in association with East Coast Radio‚ Madonsela said: "There are several reasons: politically the secret ballot is a democratic process; people are lying when they say it’s an infringement of democracy. The architecture of our democracy is the entire constitution."

Madonsela did not mention the ballot during her address‚ but touched on it when prompted afterwards.

"Part of democracy is that we vote‚ but part of democracy are mechanisms to remove people that we voted in. Democracy is about both putting people into power and removing them. In terms of our constitution‚ there are various ways to remove them: you can remove them during the term‚ [or] at the end of the term‚" she said.

Without mentioning President Jacob Zuma by name‚ Madonsela added: "We’ve entrusted you with our collective resources and collective power because we thought you were the most competent‚ most selfless and most trustworthy. If any of those things are in breach‚ if you are no longer competent‚ trustworthy or selfless‚ we can remove you. Those who think this is the time to remove‚ they are within their constitutional rights and it is also part of democracy.

"It’s a noble thing to do because it’s within the law but‚ strategically‚ it can be tricky. You remove him‚ what next? One mistake that has been made is the question of truth first versus his removal. If you look at companies‚ if somebody is a thief or incompetent‚ but if you just fire them‚ it makes you uncomfortable. You want them to answer for themselves," Madonsela said.

"So, I wonder if Parliament should not have held a hearing to allow people to hear the full story and allow people to defend themselves?"

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