Parliament committee debates motion of no confidence rule

2015-10-05 14:37
(File, Dan Calderwood, News24)

(File, Dan Calderwood, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - The National Speaker will retain the power to decide whether a motion of no confidence in the president is debated, according to proposals being debated by Parliament's rules sub-committee on Monday.

However, according to a proposed sixth draft of the parliamentary rules, parties would have to give hard evidence to back up their applications to get the motion onto the order paper.

Speaker Baleka Mbete, who is also the ANC’s national chairperson, has already been accused of bias towards President Jacob Zuma.

Sub-committee chairperson Richard Mdakane said motions of no confidence were political statements, but guidelines were still needed.

‘Unparliamentary language’

He added that because the South African Constitution did not allow for impeachment of a president, an application for a motion was given to the speaker, who might decide it could be debated in the chamber.

Committee adviser Casper Hahndiek said the proposals were not being developed with a specific case in mind and should be objective.

The details of whether "unparliamentary language" may be used in a question were still to be finalised.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MP Sam Matiase said some guidelines regarding motions of no confidence were not in keeping with section 89 of the Constitution.

“You are trying to throw to us the rules of Parliament. We are throwing to you the Constitution, the rules of the land,” Matiase said.

Currently the Constitution stated a motion of no confidence and removal of a president could be done if: there was serious constitutional or legal violation; serious misconduct and the inability to perform the function of the office.

Prima facie evidence

“Any attempt to make it difficult for the opposition to remove a president will be challenged,” he said.

Hahndiek added: “Of course if the speaker doesn't apply that test objectively, you can challenge what the speaker is doing. In fact you should challenge what the speaker is doing.”

However, the EFF said the emphasis on prima facie evidence was not consistent with chapter 7 of the Constitution.

''The court will rule. The court will tell you whether it is constitutional or not,'' Ndakane said.

The last attempt at getting a motion of no confidence against Zuma debated ended in chaos and was outvoted by the ANC.

Read more on:    anc  |  eff  |  baleka mbete  |  jacob zuma  |  parliament 2015  |  politics

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.