Mbete debate: Malema, Maimane battle for limelight

2014-09-16 12:53

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Mmusi Maimane, the official leader of the opposition in Parliament, will have less than 10 minutes today to try steal the limelight back from the Economic Freedom Fighters.

As leader of the opposition in Parliament, Maimane will speak first today when opposition parties debate a motion of no confidence in Baleka Mbete, speaker of the National Assembly.

Maimane has been under pressure from the EFF, which has used its “theatrical tactics” in Parliament to overshadow the DA as the largest opposition party.

The pressure will come especially from Maimane’s own party. Young DA MPs have confirmed to City Press stablemate Rapport that they feel that the party is not making its presence felt strongly enough in Parliament.

Maimane will have five minutes of speaking time to try to change this, compared with the four minutes allocated to the EFF.

Early today it was not yet clear whether EFF leader Julius Malema would represent the party during the debate.

The ANC, which has already indicated that it will oppose the motion, has 31 minutes. The amount of time allocated to parties is determined by the percentage of their representation in the National Assembly.

Maimane will have the final word, with another three minutes at the end of the debate.

Maimane admitted to Rapport two weeks ago that it was difficult to make himself heard in Parliament with the EFF’s “theatrical tactics” and rowdiness.

“I think it is a reasonable conclusion to draw,” he said.

The motion of no confidence in Mbete comes after she was accused of misusing her position in favour of the ANC.

During the announcement of the vote of no confidence last week, Malema said: “We do not belong to the Parliament of the ANC. We belong to the Parliament of South Africa. We will not be controlled by the ANC.”

The motion being debated today requests, among other things, that the “unacceptable level of disruption during sessions of the fifth Parliament” must be noted.

It also refers to Mbete’s “inability to resolve important issues regarding the rules quickly”.

The motion requests the National Assembly to reprimand Mbete in the strongest terms because she did not resign as chairperson of the ANC while serving as speaker of the house.

Opposition parties debate motion of no confidence in Baleka Mbete

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