ANC wants Zuma no-confidence debate next year

2012-11-21 14:11

The ANC in Parliament will agree to debate a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma, but only in February next year, Chief Whip Mathole Motshekga has said.

In a statement, Motshekga said he did not oppose the motion being scheduled, but that it would not be possible for the debate to take place before the last sitting of the house.

The National Assembly rises tomorrow.

Motshekga said committee meetings, oversight visits and international study tours were planned for MPs from Monday November 26 to December 7.

“Cancelling these commitments or summoning back all MPs for a special sitting would place a significant administrative, logistical and financial burden on the institution,” said Motshekga.

Motshekga said there was consensus that the motion was a matter “provided for in the Constitution”.

He argued MPs should be given sufficient time to prepare themselves, because the motion was serious in nature and could have serious implications for Parliament.

“We will impress upon Parliament that this motion be scheduled for debate by the National Assembly on the week of February 26 2013.”

Motshekga said he believed this was a reasonable time frame.

He said he was aware National Assembly rules dictated that the motion – along with other parliamentary business – would lapse by tomorrow.

“As the majority party we commit to support the revival of this motion, to ensure that it returns back to the House in its current form,” he said.

Motshekga said he would liaise with other political parties in Parliament to communicate his position.

“This position does not seek to pre-empt or interfere with the court process that is currently under?way, but to correct the inaccurate view that the majority party is not keen on debating this motion.”

The Western Cape High Court was expected to rule tomorrow, following an urgent application brought by Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko.

Mazibuko brought the application on behalf of the major opposition parties in Parliament to compel National Assembly speaker Max Sisulu to schedule a debate and vote before the legislature goes into recess.

Last week, Sisulu adjourned a National Assembly programming committee meeting without the debate being scheduled, on the basis that no consensus had been reached.

Mazibuko had officially given notice of the motion in the House on November 8.

She brought the motion on the grounds “that under his (Zuma’s) 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”.

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