As part of the drastic about-turn made on April 5 by ANC officials opposed to President Jacob Zuma’s cabinet reshuffle, the party’s secretary-general, Gwede Mantashe, said that its members of Parliament (MPs) would oppose the April 18 motion of no-confidence in the president. Mantashe said "no army general can allow his forces to be commanded by the enemy forces". He made it clear that "no ANC member will vote in a motion of the opposition". This was a clear reaction to the statement made by former finance minister Pravin Gordhan who, shortly after being fired by Zuma, indicated that he would vote with his conscience in a vote of no-confidence. Opposition party leaders have indicated they had been contacted by ANC MPs who were considering the same. Mantashe clearly wanted to nip such intentions in the bud. Mantashe’s remarks are disconcerting and inappropriate. He uses a war metaphor to stop ANC MPs from voting according to their moral convictions. There is a lot of competition and ...

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