If there is one thing not giving Jackson Mthembu sleepless nights, it is the pending motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma, the African National Congress (ANC) chief whip said on Thursday.
He said he would love to see what happened if an opposition MP voted against the motion, against party wishes. "Die poppe sal dans! [There will be much drama]" he said with a laugh.
He was briefing media on the ANC's proposal to establish an ad hoc committee to investigate political parties' funding, but was asked about the Democratic Alliance's looming motion of no confidence.
"Members of the ANC are quite clear. They derive political authority from the ANC."
The ANC was not worried about the possibility that the vote could take place by secret ballot.
"We have no problem at all. Bring it on. We are just waiting for that vote to defeat it," he said.
Mthembu, seemingly in a jovial mood, told reporters there was a motion of no confidence on his first day as chief whip, so it was something to which he was accustomed.
"I never had any problems with a vote of no confidence. I had them before. That's not something I have sleepless nights about."
ANC MPs received their mandate from their party, just like all the other parties.
He said the ANC caucus was "pained by the surge of the killing of women and children in South Africa".
He said statistics showed a woman was killed in SA every eight hours. Over 1 000 women were killed by their intimate partner in the country every year.
"We reiterate our call that the barbaric, brutal killing of women and children and all forms of gender-based violence must be treated as high-priority crimes and all perpetrators of such atrocities must be denied bail and a maximum sentence must be imposed if found guilty.
"We call on all men to stand up against gender-based violence, as their silence can only be understood as being complicit in the murder of our mothers, sister and daughters," he said.