"Vote of no confidence is a red herring"

Wednesday 18 April will see yet another vote of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma in Parliament.

The big question: Will ANC MPs vote with their conscience?

ANC stalwart and former MP Ben Turok speaking to Eusebius McKaizer says party discipline will prevail unless members wish to lose their jobs.

I think you people are raising a red herring. We've been down this road quite a few times. And in every case, the caucus of the ANC meets and discusses and takes a decision and all members are bound by that decision.

Prof. Ben Turok, ANC stalwart and former ANC MP

If you do not follow that decision you will lose your job. It's as simple as that. So why is there so much speculation about whether people are going to break ranks? Really I think the media are a bit irresponsible.

Prof. Ben Turok, ANC stalwart and former ANC MP

He says the system does not allow MPs to make up their own minds. Within the party political system, parties insist on discipline.

In the ANC whether you like it or not, when the caucus makes a decision , you follow that decision.

Prof. Ben Turok, ANC stalwart and former ANC MP

I know within the ANC many people whose conscious is bothering them a great deal and would love to vote against Zuma, but they can't, they won't. So why raise hopes that are unrealistic?

Prof. Ben Turok, ANC stalwart and former ANC MP

While some ANC MPs may have other career prospects to turn to, many do not, insists Turok.

He says maybe if there comes a time that parties like the EFF gain more seats in Parliament and can offer ANC MPs an alternative, that may be an option for MPs.

He says his hopes have moved outside of Parliament.

He uses the ANC stalwarts experience as an example of his disillusionment. The group negotiated for a long time with the ANC top six and the national working committee for a national consultative conference.

And then the stalwarts discovered...that people like Jessie Duarte were determined not to have a consultative conference, and therefore were stringing them along.

Prof. Ben Turok, ANC stalwart and former ANC MP

And you know what the position of the stalwarts is now? The stalwarts say Zuma must go.

Prof. Ben Turok, ANC stalwart and former ANC MP

This article first appeared on 702 : "Vote of no confidence is a red herring"


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