DA leader Mmusi Maimane
Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane has handed over a petition of over 1-million signatures to deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa's office calling on President Jacob Zuma to be removed.
Maimane, DA chief whip John Steenhuisen and party spokesperson Phumzile van Damme walked from their Parliamentary offices in the Marks Building to Tuynhuis on Wednesday morning, where Ramaphosa has an office.
The party and supporters unloaded numerous boxes containing signatures of South Africans calling for MPs to support the motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma on August 8.
"Cyril Ramaphosa has an opportunity to act. I speak on behalf of all of South Africans that are here today," Maimane claimed outside the gate.
"If the message has never been loud and clear, this is a million people who are saying enough is enough.
"We are saying, Cyril Ramaphosa, do the right thing. Lead your caucus, and ensure on the motion of no confidence they vote for change."
Over 500 000 were signed online, while the remainder were collected through various DA branches around the country.
Maimane was critical of the African National Congress (ANC) for "persecuting" their MPs who have stood up and said they want to vote with their conscience.
"We've given them already seven opportunities to do the right thing. On each one of those occasions, he [Ramaphosa] has failed to do the right thing.
"It's time now to ask, do we place South Africa ahead, or do we place Jacob Zuma ahead?"
Ramaphosa is currently attending to Cabinet business ahead of an executive lekgotla. A representative from his office collected the documents on his behalf.
Mbete must make the 'right decision'
Maimane also said that it was Parliament who elected Zuma, and therefore Parliament should decide whether to remove him, not the ANC's national executive committee.
With regards to Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete's pending decision on whether the motion will be conducted via secret ballot, the DA were ready to challenge it if she decided on an open ballot.
"I'm simply here to say I hope Baleka Mbete makes the right decision, makes a decision that allows people to vote with the conscience, so that we can get over this headache called Jacob Zuma."
Zuma had sold out the country to the Guptas, and had forgotten why he was elected as President of South Africa, he said.
Ramaphosa, as leader of government business must encourage his MPs to show their interests "lie with the people of South Africa, not with Jacob Zuma."
Maimane also stood by his stance that the country should hold early elections if Zuma is voted out, despite other opposition parties disagreeing with the suggestion.
"The ANC as a collective has in fact been able to steal people's money when it comes to corruption," he said.
"What we should do is set up a structure that will see South Africa head toward early elections, so we can get on to the business of building South Africa."