Mbete wants to have her cake and eat it - Steenhuisen

2017-07-21 18:07
John Steenhuisen (File, Gallo Images)

John Steenhuisen (File, Gallo Images)

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EFF will go to Parliament, just to remind Zuma he is 'dumb'

2017-07-21 14:55

EFF leader Julius Malema says the party has already prepared legal papers to interdict National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete, should she refuse to allow a secret ballot for the motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma. Watch. WATCH

Cape Town - DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen says Parliament Speaker Baleka Mbete wants to have her cake and eat it in terms of taking her time to decide on the use of a secret ballot in the motion of no confidence.

Steenhuisen was on Friday responding to Mbete's earlier statement that she be "given space" to make a ruling on the use of a secret ballot, as highlighted by the Constitutional Court.

The party wanted her to make the decision by the end of this week.

"Mbete has displayed astonishing arrogance by setting political parties deadlines by which they should forward their view on the secret ballot, but refuses to accept deadlines of her own. Like Marie Antoinette, she wants her cake and eat it too," Steenhuisen said in a statement.

"There is no reason why Mbete cannot make her decision on the secret ballot now. She should stop playing games and must tell South Africans how their public representatives will be voting on August 8."

Mbete said earlier on Friday that the decision on whether or not to use a secret ballot in the motion of no confidence must be rational, and therefore requires careful consideration.

She also said the Constitutional Court had not given her a date by which she had to make her decision known.

The DA was fully cognisant of the fact that no time-frame was set, Steenhuisen replied.

"Nevertheless, it is incumbent on Mbete to act in the best interest of the Legislature and the Constitution, and avoid unnecessary litigation by parties that may feel that the timing of her decision offers an advantage to her own political party by limiting the rights of other parties to review her decision in time."

She ultimately said "nothing of significance", he said.

The EFF told News24 on Friday that they have already prepared legal papers to interdict Mbete should she refuse to allow a secret ballot for the August 8 motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.

WATCH: EFF will go to Parliament, just to remind Zuma he is 'dumb'

The Constitutional Court ruled on June 22 that Mbete had the constitutional power to prescribe that voting in a motion of no confidence in the president could be conducted by secret ballot.

In a statement last Sunday, Parliament said Mbete had received submissions from nine of the 13 political parties about the appropriate voting procedure for the motion.

Both the ANC and the DA said they would abide by Mbete's decision, while the rest of the nine preferred a secret ballot.

In a statement on July 13, opposition parties said Mbete should not preside over the debate due to a conflict of interest between her role as ANC national chairperson and Speaker.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  eff  |  baleka mbete  |  john steenhuisen  |  parliament

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