“My vote is not a secret, I am voting with the ANC,” State Security Minister David Mahlobo told The Citizen yesterday, indicating his intent to support President Jacob Zuma.
Mahlobo said ANC members were given a clear directive on which way to vote and, according to him, voting against Zuma was a vote to topple the ANC from government.
“The opposition is clear why they want the president out and they don’t just want the president out, they want the ANC out. I would be stupid to vote with the opposition.”
Mahlobo added: “I am not a free agent. The ANC will tell us how to vote. They sent a statement on Friday and a decision was made not to vote with the opposition.”
This was not toeing the party line, he explained, but about understanding the system of how the party worked.
“I never went to parliament just carrying my jacket. I went to parliament as a member of the ANC and in an ANC list. As a disciplined member of the ANC I respect the decision of (the party) and I will vote as per the instructions of the ANC. I will never vote with the opposition.”
United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa, who led the call for MPs to vote in secret, said that MPs under any other circumstances were not supposed to vote in secret as they represented party voters, but this was a special case.
Holomisa believed ANC members of parliament were too compromised to vote earnestly without a secret ballot.
“They are not MPs for voters, but for Zuma and his party. Once MPs are not free to look out for the interests of the country then those people cease to be MPs. We cannot apply the same universal approach.”