Jeanette Chabalala, Iavan Pijoos and News24 Correspondent
Pretoria – Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane on Thursday challenged ANC parliamentarians to make a choice between President Jacob Zuma and all of South Africa when it comes to an upcoming motion of no confidence vote.
“In a few weeks we are going to be debating the motion of no confidence. On that day we face one of two choices,” said Maimane at a gathering of various opposition political parties, as well as civil society and religious organisations at Caledonian stadium in Tshwane.
“Either ANC MPs choose Jacob Zuma or South Africans. Either the ANC members will choose corruption or they will choose a clean government. Either they will choose the Guptas or they will choose ordinary South Africans.”
Maimane suggested: “55 million of us are not going to be held ransom by one South African called Jacob Zuma”.
He promised the crowd that going into the future, a coalition government would be in place in 2019.
“Change is coming…Our ’94 is coming in 2019.”
‘Time up’ for Zuma
The opposition leader was in a soaringly optimistic mood, declaring that “the future for South Africa has never been better than what I see today”.
Maimane ended his address by calling on those gathered to hold hands with the person next to them.
The crowd did so lifting their linked arms in the air, as Maimane quoted an extract from the national anthem, before promising to meet again at ongoing protests against Zuma:
“We will see you on the streets,” he said.
Earlier, United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa told supporters that in 2019, the ANC would be “punished”, while Congress of the People head Mosiuoa Lekota said that those who supported Zuma were “enemies of the people”.
African Christian Democratic Party leader Kenneth Meshoe said it was simply “time up” for Zuma – a sentiment reiterated by the crowd many of whom held up red cards – as used by a soccer referee as a sign that a player has been ordered to leave the field.
Freedom Day commemorates the country’s first post-apartheid elections held in 1994. This year signals 23 years of South Africa’s democracy. The various groups represented at the rally have dubbed themselves the Freedom Movement.