South Africa’s Ramaphosa to face no-confidence vote

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BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - NOVEMBER 15; 2018: President of South Africa Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa is talking to media at the end of an EU - South-Africa Summit meeting on climate change, migration to trade and security, in the Europa, the EU Council headquarter on November 15, 2018. (Photo by Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)
President of South Africa Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa. (Photo by Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa faces a no-confidence motion next week, a parliament official said Thursday.

A small opposition party, the African Transformation Movement (ATM), which has just two seats in the 400-member National Assembly, filed a request with the speaker in February for a no-confidence debate.

“The speaker has approved that request, and our recommendation is that it be dealt with next Thursday,” Masibulele Xaso, secretary to the National Assembly, told the parliament’s programming committee.

The ATM, which was formed in 2018 after ex-president Jacob Zuma’s forced resignation, submitted a motion alleging that Ramaphosa was unfit to hold office.

When the party requested the debate, its leader, Vuyolwethu Zungula, said many people believed South Africa “has been on a slippery slope ever since President Ramaphosa occupied the highest office in the land.”

The largest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, said it did not support the ATM motion.

The Economic Freedom Fighters, the second-largest opposition group, said it would respond later.

A no-confidence vote requires a simple majority of 201 votes to pass, but Ramaphosa’s African National Congress (ANC) holds 230 seats, and the motion stands little chance of success.

Ramaphosa became president in February 2018 after Zuma was forced to step down amid growing corruption scandals. The following year he won a popular mandate following general elections.

 

Story compiled with assistance from wire reports.

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