The speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete has taken the decision that the vote of no confidence in the President in the National Assembly on the 8th of August 2017 will be conducted through a secret ballot.
Undoubtedly this decision has a significant impact in the life of our Constitutional democracy.
Speaking at the Lecture, celebrating ANC President, Oliver Tambo, on the 12th October 2012, our Patron President Mbeki said “I must state that I have prepared this lecture deeply troubled by a feeling of great unease that our beloved Motherland is losing its sense of direction and that we are allowing ourselves to progress towards a costly disaster of a protracted and endemic general crisis”.
He continued to say “I for one, am not certain about where our Country and Nation will be tomorrow and what I should do in this regard, to respond to what is obviously a dangerous and unacceptable situation of directionless and unguided National drift”.
Since our Patron made these comments almost five years ago, our Country has experienced even much deeper general crisis, to-date characterised by the growing conflict between our government and the constitutional requirements, toxic political atmosphere, a failing economy and loss of Continental and International standing.
At the centre of this crisis is the absence of a programme to take our country out of this unprecedented crisis, and more critically the absence of leadership with sufficient public trust, vision and where-withall to answer confidently the question raised by President Mbeki “where will our Country be tomorrow”?
On the other hand, it is important for the Nation to look at this general crisis not simply as a crisis but as a possible opportunity to redirect our Country from a destructive trajectory and to what is inimical to the historic mission of the liberation, to a Country that our Constitution promise.
There is a genuine hope that our Country will be saved from the brink. Such hope is inspired by the active citizenry through their various formations, who are continuously making their voices heard against the abuse of power, abuse of resource, threats to our sovereignty and the Constitutional order.
This activism has not been without visible impact, the decision by the Speaker of our National Assembly to properly follow both the Court’s injunction and Constitutional dictates, owes much to this renewed levels of activism. What gives our Country and our Continent confidence and a sense of pride is that these activisms have been nothing but legal and peaceful.
In the end, our Public Representatives have been put in a comfortable position to exercise their decision freely, without fear and hindrance. The Public Representatives therefore have a historic task to respect and act according to what the progressive movements led by the ANC had helped to insert into the Constitution, thus to honour the demand in the Freedom Charter that “the people shall govern “.
Whatever the results of the decision in the National Assembly on the confidence on the President of the Republic, there is a huge task ahead that is facing our Nation, which task goes beyond the person of the President of the Republic. Such task must surely focus our people to respect Constitutional Institutions, serve our people with honor and act always to promote their interest, chart a clear and concerted approach to rebuild our economy and more importantly, to entrench and deepen our Constitutional Democracy.
Thabo Mbeki Foundation
August 7, 2017