The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Wednesday welcomed the decision by the African National Congress (ANC) to support an opposition motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma set to take place at Parliament on Thursday.
National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete's decision to reschedule the motion of no confidence, tabled by the Economic Freedom Fighters, comes after consultation with Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, and ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu.
In a statement, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said the decision affirmed views of joint opposition parties that Zuma must be removed by Parliament as the only constitutional body empowered to elect and dismiss presidents.
Thursday will mark the 9th motion of no confidence against Zuma and the first that the entire ANC will support.
"We have time and time again proposed similar motions to remove Zuma, and on each occasion he has been doggedly supported and protected by the ANC, even by those who are now lining up to take part in his political execution.
"This shows that there has been no Damascene conversion in the ANC. They have not now woken up to the damage Zuma has caused to the country. They protected one political master, and now that he has lost power, they are protecting their new political master," Maimane said.
He added that it was "telling" that the ANC refused to say why they were recalling Zuma, with the Secretary General Ace Magashule, saying that Zuma had done nothing wrong.
"This is an insult to the country, which has so suffered under Zuma’s ruinous term in office," Maimane said.
Maimane said removing Zuma was only the first step, and must be followed immediately by prosecution on criminal charges.
Meanwhile, in an exclusive interview Zuma told the public broadcaster SABC on Wednesday that he would not resign and maintained that he has done nothing wrong.