Ekurhuleni – Defiant ANC member of Parliament Mondli Gungubele says he will still vote for President Jacob Zuma to go when the motion of no confidence is heard in Parliament next month.
“Against the facts at my disposal, I say it again, I don’t have confidence in the president. If the 8th [of August] finds me in this position I will vote consistently with my attitude,” Gungubele said.
Gungubele appeared undeterred by mounting threats of censure from within the party. The ANC has warned its members to toe the party line and vote against the motion when it is debated on August 8. Speaker Baleka Mbete is yet to announce whether the vote will be via secret ballot or not.
Gungubele is part of a growing number of ANC MPs who have publicly called for Zuma to step down. Others include Pravin Gordhan and Makhosi Khoza.
Gungubele was also summoned to the party’s headquarters at Luthuli House and warned to stop publicly pronouncing on Zuma’s future.
In an interview with News24 on Thursday, Gungubele confirmed he was hauled before ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe, but refused to give details.
“It’s difficult to discuss internal discussions with the SG, you would have betrayed the trust of that confidentiality, but of course the organisation did express its displeasure about some of the things one said.
“We discussed and we discussed and discussed… I want to leave it there,” responded Gungubele.
He maintains that not voting with his conscience would be unconstitutional and inconsistent with ANC values and principles.
“My attitude is informed by what the ANC believes in… I know what the ANC stands for and one of the things it doesn’t stand for is a number of questions we are struggling to answer to society, be it how we handled Nkandla and [former Public Protector Thuli] Madonsela’s remedial action,” Gungubele said.
His views, he said, were now emboldened following Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng’s judgment that the Speaker of the National Assembly did indeed have the powers to decide on whether a secret ballot should be used.
In that judgment, he also warned MPs that their allegiance should be with the people of South Africa, whom they served, and not the party.
Gungubele said the ANC’s stance for people to toe party line was “schizophrenic”.
“We adopted a Constitution which we fully commit to, if you send an MP to Parliament you are submitting that MP to the constitutional imperatives of this country, something wholly accepted in this country as the platform to run our country.”
“You send your delegate in Parly, making him a [full] parliamentarian. You are not making him a 80 or 90% parliamentarian,” Gungubele said.
The former Ekurhuleni mayor has also come to the defence of Khoza, who is facing a disciplinary inquiry after calling for Zuma to go and writing to Mbete to allow for a secret ballot when the motion is heard on August 8.
“I am challenging anybody, discipline Makhosi, take her to the DC, what will it change,” he asked.
The parliamentarian explained that the ANC’s problem was not vocal members, but an inability to decisively attend to serious issues involving its leadership.
“To me Makhosi is like shooting at an alarm system, not the operation which has led to the alarm.
“The big problem is not Makhosi, in my view. The problem is the disrepute which we have allowed our organisation to be in by indecisively attending to aspects especially important to running the country,” Gungubele added.
He said the public statements his colleague had been making had little to no impact on the ANC’s reputation.