Malema urges ANC leaders to vote along lines of conscience

Malema urges ANC leaders to vote along lines of conscience

Singling out Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema on Tuesday implored African National Congress (ANC) veterans to vote for a motion to impeach President Jacob Zuma.

Julius Malema.jpg

"We want to see Mr Ramaphosa, Minister Pravin, Minister Jonas, the darling of anti-corruption, if you are going to vote for this corruption against the constitution," Malema said in the National Assembly, after reminding Ramaphosa that he was seen as one of the fathers of the Constitution.

"We need another Ben Turok to vote against the mob," he added, referring to the former MP's stance against the Protection of State Information Bill.

"Stop thinking for your stomach, vote with your brains."

In a speech that overshadowed that of Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane, Malema rubbished a claim by Deputy Finance Minister John Jeffery that the Constitutional Court had not found Zuma guilty of violating the Constitution.

He cautioned Jeffery that he was "trying to second guess what the Constitutional Court said".

There was unfortunate precedent for this in the very case that served before the court, he said, in that opposition parties took legal action because the president and the National Assembly had second-guessed Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report on the Nkandla project.

"We had this with the Public Protector's report… You are repeating a second mistake."

He said the court had found that Zuma had breached his oath of office and that therefore Jeffery could not claim that the court had not given the EFF the order that it sought against the president.

"The judges were clear that the president and this Parliament engaged in an unlawful activity," Malema said and added that it was disingenuous of the ruling party to expect the opposition to believe that it was respecting the Constitution without taking action against the president.

"No single individual has been held accountable and you want us to believe that you are upholding the Constitution, you live by the rule of law?"

Jeffery had argued that there was a "difference between an inconsistency and a serious violation" which would require impeaching the president and that Zuma had never acted in bad faith as it had never been clear, up until last week's ruling, that the Public Protector's reports had binding force.

He said Madonsela, as well as those who held the position before her, had believed the contrary, and that therefore Zuma had been justified in his initial response to her findings. The president had told Parliament that he was not obliged to rubberstamp these and failed to heed her directive that he reimburse the state for luxuries added to his home as part of a R216 security overhaul.

The court last week ordered him to do so.

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