ANC contradicts itself - DA

2012-11-20 07:19
DA Parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko (File, Sapa)

DA Parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko (File, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - The ANC's denial that it opposed a debate on a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma contradicts the position it took last week, the DA said on Monday.

"[ANC Chief Whip Dr Mathole Motshekga's] numerous comments and press releases revealed his complete opposition to the matter being considered at all," said DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko.

"This backtracking is not unexpected, given the unconstitutional approach taken by Dr Motshekga.

Earlier, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said the ANC in Parliament had not refused to discuss a motion of no confidence.

"The [ANC] cannot refuse to have a discussion on a motion of no confidence, or any motion for that matter," Mantashe told reporters in Johannesburg.

"The question we are dealing with here is not refusal, but a programming issue."

The party's decision was that there was no urgency in the matter.

"Three motions have been tabled before Parliament, why is only one seen to be urgent?" Mantashe asked.

At a meeting at the weekend, the ANC's national executive committee (NEC) agreed with this view.

Mazibuko gave notice in the National Assembly on 8 November of a motion of no confidence in Zuma.

The motion was brought on the grounds "that under his leadership the justice system has been politicised and weakened; corruption has spiralled out of control; unemployment continues to increase, the economy is weakening, and the right of access to quality education has been violated".

The motion was "mandated" by eight opposition parties, including the African Christian Democratic Party, the Azanian People's Organisation, the Congress of the People, the Freedom Front Plus, the Inkatha Freedom Party, the United Christian Democratic Party, and the United Democratic Movement.

Last week, the ANC blocked the opposition's attempt to have the motion placed on the order paper and debated in the Assembly.

The DA, on behalf of a number of opposition parties, has now launched an urgent interdict in the Western Cape High Court to compel National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu to schedule a debate.

The urgent application will be heard on Tuesday.

Mazibuko disagreed with the ANC's comment that the matter was not urgent.

"International precedent, and the very nature of the motion of no confidence itself, provides for this debate to be urgently tabled," she said.

Blocking the debate, which was provided for in section 102(2) of the Constitution was unconstitutional.

Mazibuko said Sisulu had not accepted the request, made in the founding affidavit, that he schedule the debate on 22 November.

"The Speaker of the National Assembly, Max Sisulu MP, has today submitted an answering affidavit to the DA’s legal team. Mr Sisulu will oppose the DA’s application on procedural grounds," she said.

Mantashe criticised opposition parties for their plans to take the matter to court, and said they were seeking to reduce Parliament to a subsidiary of the judiciary.

"By taking a purely parliamentary programming matter to court, the opposition is reducing Parliament to be a subsidiary of the judiciary and thereby impeding the legislative independence of Parliament," he said.

- SAPA

Read more on:    cope  |  da  |  ff plus  |  anc  |  acdp  |  udm  |  azapo  |  ifp  |  lindiwe mazibuko  |  jacob zuma  |  max sisulu  |  gwede mantashe  |  mathole motshekga  |  politics  |  parliament 2012
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