DA’s appeal opposed

2012-11-27 00:00

THE state attorney is opposing the DA’s application to the Constitutional Court appealing the dismissal of its urgent application to force Parliament to debate a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.

Western Cape High Court Judge Dennis Davis found that it was not for the court to dictate to Parliament.

DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko, on behalf of eight opposition parties, then filed an appeal with the Constitutional Court.

However, yesterday the state attorney wrote to Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng requesting him not to entertain the application. Even more so, not to treat it as matter of urgency.

The state attorney noted that Davis found that the DA should have approached the Constitutional Court directly by virtue of section 167 of the Constitution.

“Accordingly the applicant approached the wrong court at the outset and is now belatedly seeking to remedy her mistake retrospectively by asking the Constitutional Court to hear her application on an urgent basis.”

The letter also noted that Max Sisulu, the speaker of Parliament, had the right to present his version of events and therefore he should be given the opportunity to file answering papers to Mazibuko’s application.

The state attorney also placed on record that if the Constitutional Court were to entertain Mazibuko’s application for leave to appeal, then the speaker would bring a counter appeal on the order of costs.

Judge Davis had ruled that each party pay its own costs. However, Sisulu said that the state should not have to bear the costs of the application.

The opposition parties sought to compel Parliament to schedule a debate on their motion of no confidence before the National Assembly went into recess. Mazibuko, in moving for the debate, said under Zuma’s leadership the justice system had been politicised and weakened, corruption had spiralled out of control and unemployment continued to increase. The economy was weakening and the right of access to quality education had been violated, she added.

Chief Justice Mogoeng has meanwhile asked the speaker and ANC Chief Whip Mathole Motshekgafor answers, by tomorrow, on how urgent it is that the debate should be held before December 7.

Davis found that it is the right of any MP to ask for a debate on a motion of no confidence in the president, and such a debate is by its nature “urgent”.

However, the rules of Parliament have gaps on the issue and therefore he could not compel the speaker to schedule the debate.

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