In the aftermath of the Constitutional Court ruling on the powers of the Speaker in the legislature to action a vote of no confidence by means of a secret ballot, the opposition rejoiced as if in victory march that they will get a secret ballot.
We have always known that the court could not rule for a secret ballot because that was not the case before it and neither would it that would be over-reach – one arm of the state interfering in the business of another. It’s work therefore was purely to give clarity as to the powers of the Speaker on the subject matter. In fairness to the applicant, the UDM, it’s case was about the Constitutional Court confirming the Speaker is empowered to institute either a public ballot or a secret ballot.
With that done, the Speaker has announced the date for the vote of no confidence as solicited by the opposition for August 8, 2017. We have also been informed that the Speaker is consulting with the parties to arrive at a means for the vote. In the end it remains her prerogative and she is not held hostage by the Constitutional Court ruling or anyone in force of a secret ballot. When the speaker said “I am not averse to a secret ballot”, as also recorded in the court ruling she confirmed that she has no bias for or against it, meaning it was a neutral position, it cannot be assumed she is now under obligation to use a secret ballot come August 8, 2017.
We are a month away from parliament entertaining its eight vote of no confidence. All previous seven were defeated through a public ballot. It is therefore clear the opposition wants a secret ballot, for this in its estimation and prism will free members of parliament to vote with what they have conveniently called a “vote with conscience.”
What then could be happening in the silence of hours, behind closed doors as an unfolding strategy to influence the efficacy of a secret ballot and how could that strategy and tactics be falling out?
We must not for one moment assume this is just a combination of opposition parties seeking a secret ballot. We must not forget this strategy and its outcome holds claimed fruits for a constituency even in the ANC. Hence, beyond a narrow opposition circumference some in the ANC made by white monopoly capital equally desire this secret ballot. For some it will be a pure settling of scores of 2008, for others it’s about the way forward in which their preferred candidate must be shifted into the office of leading SA as soon as yesterday, for others it’s about maintaining the status quo of the skewed apartheid economy and delaying the implementation of radical economic transformation.
To assume that this is a battle playing out only in the legislative space is to negate the reality of the multifaceted presence of those who seek an ANC removal by any means with its president as the proverbial door.
The forces of white monopoly capital, yes you heard right, the forces of white monopoly capital, which only those who conveniently blind and feeding from the trough of WMC deny, expressed in known and unknown forms, are hard at work to ensure this secret ballot. When we say forces we refer to the role of capital in the buying of votes with the plausible threat of prosecution to members of parliament.
It is clear that the forces of white monopoly capital will rest at nothing but to see the Zuma presidency brought to a screeching halt. They have long determined that it is not in their interest to have this president completing his term. They have accepted that the road of radical economic transformation, the ANC had charted under his leadership will redefine this economy and upset the 1994 Consensus which left the masses with a political vote but bereft of any true and meaningful economic emancipation and inclusive participation in definite aim of fundamental redress. They are primarily averse to give effect to the adopted ANC policy of radical economic transformation.
What then plausibly could constitute a strategy as happening far removed from the general public? Is it far-fetched that members of parliament in particular of the ANC are being blackmailed with handsome retirement packages, guarantees of no prosecutions and possible extended political lives beyond August 8, 2017 if they choose to vote with what has been termed by these forces as a vote with their conscience?
The conscience vote as we have long concluded is a ruse for it assumes members have necessarily contrarian convictions to their party line on a subject before parliament. It furthermore assumes that an agreement with the opposition constitutes a vote of conscience, meaning it’s really the opposition parties stance that pre-determines the width and boundaries of that claimed conscience.
On Sunday at the ANC’s national policy conference Fikile Mbalula vehemently re-echoed the consistent words of Gwede Mantashe when he made it emphatic that ANC members of parliament will not have an option to agree with the opposition to remove its president and by so doing itself from power.
Why is it then necessary for the ANC leadership to keep reminding its members of parliament to remember their loyalty in a multiparty democracy is to the ANC and SA?
One school of thought claims there is a carefully developing wedge premised on a combination of blackmail, threat, money and a promise of extension of political life beyond Zuma.
Is it plausible that the intensity and work of white monopoly capital is to cause havoc and disarray in the ranks of the ANC by seeking to solicit ANC MPs to defy their party line come August 8, 2017?
Are ministers and members of parliament, even the Speaker, psychologically being threatened and coddled behind the scenes by anti-ANC forces to break with the party line in hope of saving themselves at a personal level?
Well what then could be the means how this campaign is being run? Firstly the establishment of the private prosecution unit of Afri-Forum was not accidental but the clearest sign that cases are being developed to attempt prosecuting political leaders, the Speaker, ministers, deputy ministers even director-generals in their personal capacities. These cases are long in the making and may never really fly, or stand any legal scrutiny of a court, yet they are delicate tactics in this season serving the desired intentions in a game of mind control, in the art of war.
We also know that a private prosecution still would need the NPA to issue a certificate for each of them and that may be a long drawn out process by itself, yet the threat that possible cases may be looming in which the Speaker, ANC leaders, ministers, deputy ministers and director-generals in their private capacity could be charged for one or other culpability can be very unnerving if not outright intimidating for some.
Is it possible that at this stage the intention of those who are hell-bent on destroying the ANC has reached a number of 103 as a critical mass number? These may very well include ministers and deputy ministers that know they won’t come back at a political level due to various reasons, as a key instrument for creating the intended disarray in the ANC and thus delaying Radical Economic Transformation?
This possible threat of plausible personal prosecution therefore may be the chosen tool for the achievement of this vote against the party line. The benefit in offering on the other hand could be a handsome package with a proviso that all potential prosecutions will be be halted. For those who seek a political life beyond Zuma the promises could possibly include and be made in the frame of “we will remember you”.
Need we be reminded we are a month away and only those who sleep will not understand that August 8, 2017 is for some of White Monopoly Capital and it’s denialists the biggest chance to attain by secret ballot what they hitherto have failed to achieve.
The ANC must be vigilant to know that its members of parliament and leaders, all those who can vote in the House, are possibly under clouds and potentially personally targeted for defiance of the party line at the hand of a combination of threats and promises of soft landings.
White Monopoly Capital is hard at work and it has these scaremongering tactics in its artillery to use to secure a critical mass number in the pending vote.
That very weapon could also be unleashed against the Speaker of the House to force her hand to pronounce a secret ballot.
We must wait and see, yet I am not assuming White Monopoly Capital is at rest but rather very active in breaking the ANC up. It is wiling to see even a split to ensure radical economic transformation do not happen in our life time.
Clyde N. Ramalaine:
(The opinion piece first appeared in the Weekly Xpose publication )