DA is ready to roll out the welcome mat for ANC rebels, says Mmusi Maimane
The so-called ANC rebels — the party’s MPs who voted in support of the motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma — would be welcomed into the DA fold should they wish to join.
Speaking at the Cape Town press club on Thursday before the news broke that outspoken ANC MP Makhosi Khoza had been fired as chairwoman of Parliament’s portfolio committee on public service and administration, DA leader Mmusi Maimane indicated that rebel ANC MPs would be welcomed in his party as long as they shared the organisation’s values, which include defending the Constitution.
Khoza said on Thursday that she was considering her future as an ANC MP.
"The realignment of politics must be about the values that we share," said Maimane.
"So if the likes of [former finance minister] Pravin [Gordhan] and Makhosi stand on those issues, of course, let us build entities together that can take [SA forward] … it’s a vision that we hold, it’s not just political pragmatism and finding a different home. It’s about saying let us get together so that we can put the SA agenda forward and I am willing to work with people like that. They may not even come from the ANC, but various other [organisations]," said Maimane.
"Would we offer seats [in Parliament] to Pravin? That’s not for me to say … it will obviously be an electoral process and we would have to rejig the [DA] list."
Khoza, who leading up to the vote had faced death threats for her stance on Zuma, indicated that she had voted in favour of the motion. Other ANC MPs who are believed to have supported the DA-sponsored motion include former tourism minister Derek Hanekom and erstwhile Ekurhuleni mayor Mondli Gungubele, while Gordhan — whose sacking by Zuma in early 2017 prompted the DA motion —indicated he would vote according to his conscience.
The DA motion was defeated by a narrow margin, but between 30 and 40 ANC MPs are believed to have voted against the president.
Maimane said it was encouraging that a considerable block of ANC MPs chose to cast their vote against Zuma under the cover of a secret ballot.
"We have said often, and still say, that the future of South African politics is in a fundamental realignment of people in defence of the Constitution and its values.… We know that in one form or another we will one day share the government benches with those 40 brave rebels who voted with us last week," said Maimane.
He again called for the dissolution of Parliament and for an early election.
The Constitution, he said, was written precisely for the situation SA finds itself in.
"If a president or government no longer represents the will of the people, if it is failing to carry out their mandate, then the people must be given a chance to choose a new government."
Earlier in August, the DA submitted the motion in terms of section 50 (1) of the Constitution. The dissolution of Parliament would necessitate an election.