Former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has backed members of the African National Congress (ANC) who voted with the opposition in a secret ballot vote in a motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma, saying it would be unconstitutional to carry out disciplinary actions against Members of Parliament (MPs).
This comes a week after President Jacob Zuma survived a motion of no confidence, with members of the ruling party voting to remove him from power.
Gordhan spoke was speaking on Sunday night at the Jewish Achiever Awards in Midrand, where he was honored with the Chivas Humanitarian Award.
He added that the Constitution verdict protects the rights of MPs to vote without intimidation.
“Again, the Constitutional Court judgment and the Speaker’s statement says that nothing can be done and it will be unconstitutional to do so.”
For the first time, the South African Parliament allowed the secret ballot vote on a motion of no confidence a gains’ president Jacob Zuma.
The motion was pushed forward by the United Democratic Movement (UDM) along with the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) with a hope to removed Zuma from power after allegation of corruption and emails allied to the controversial Gupta Family was brought to public attention by the investigative journalism Unit the amabhungane and the Daily Maverick.
According to reports Police Minister Fikile Mbalula recently suggested in a tweet that ANC MPs take a lie detector test to determine who voted with opposition parties during the no confidence vote.
Mbalula was not the first ANC member to speak out against members who voted for Zuma to go.
The ruling party’s treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize has called for action against members who “defied” the party, saying they should face disciplinary action.
ANC MP Lindiwe Zulu has also criticized some members, saying it’s unacceptable that they voted with the opposition.