President Cyril Ramaphosa is in no danger of being removed from power through a motion of no confidence – whether by secret or open ballot because he is the bull of the kraal, and the ANC will reject the move, say political experts.
Reacting to a second and latest attempt by the two-MP African Transformation Movement (ATM) to win a secret ballot to oust Ramaphosa via a motion of no confidence, political analyst Daniel Silke said the ATM was “playing politics” and trying to create an “awkward moment” that will not succeed.
“In my view, the ANC caucus will remain solid. There is zero chance of success for the motion. The ATM is playing politics, stirring the pots and trying to create an awkward moment as they are entitled to do. But I don’t think there is any appetite for leadership change in the ANC at this point,” Silke said.
The ATM previously relied on the ANC factional division to succeed in its motion, hoping Zuma-aligned MPs would support any anti-Ramaphosa motion.
There was the belief that the motion was secretly sponsored by the Zuma camp.
But the motion’s chance had been minimised by the fact that Ramaphosa’s opponents pose minimal threat to his power.
Jacob Zuma, his ally and former ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, and the entire radical economic transformation faction, have been sidelined by Luthuli House.
The ATM approached National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula with a fresh motion requesting she conduct the vote by secret ballot.
The party argued that a closed ballot was the only rational possibility in the prevailing circumstances.
ATM first tabled its motion of no confidence in Ramaphosa’s leadership in February 2020 over the sealing of his bank statements related to his 2017 campaign for the ANC presidency; as well as the country’s load shedding crisis, the state of the country’s state-owned enterprises, and SA’s high unemployment rate.
Previously the Constitutional Court directed that a secret vote became necessary where the prevailing atmosphere is “toxified or highly charged”.
The Supreme Court of Appeal last week ruled to affirm the powers of the speaker to decide the best mode or procedure of voting by MPs.
Parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said the speaker would decide and announce her decision in due course.
Meanwhile, Tshwane University of Technology’s political scientist Levy Ndou said the motion, like others before it, was not in the nation’s interest but part of grandstanding and flexing of political muscle by political parties.