Parly to debate motion of no confidence in Zuma

2015-01-29 14:43

The National Assembly will debate a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma next month.

The National Assembly’s programme whip Fezile Bhengu revealed this morning that the motion which was tabled by Agang last year will be debated 12 days after Zuma delivered his State of the Nation Address.

Agang tabled the motion on November 4 last year in the National Assembly. The party has managed to do what the DA and eight parties could not do in 2012 – getting a motion of no confidence debated by the National Assembly.

The party later approached the Constitutional Court asking it to declare that the motion of no confidence be voted on by way of a secret ballot.

Agang also wanted the court to declare National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete unfit to hold the office of Speaker.

Tabling the motion in November, Agang’s acting president Andries Tlouamma asked Mbete not to preside over the motion of no confidence and that she should ensure the voting on the motion be done by way of secret ballot.

She refused, according to Tlouamma.

“She refused, confirming that she is not impartial when she acts in her capacity as Speaker”, he later said.

Tlouamma said it was important that when members of Parliament and in particular ANC MPs, vote on this motion they should be able to do so “without fear of persecution”.

“The only reason why the ANC national Chairperson, Baleka Mbete, is refusing to allow a secret ballot is because they know that President Zuma no longer enjoys the support of the majority of ANC members of parliament”, he said.

The matter is still pending at the court.

There was a small victory for the opposition parties this morning as Mbete acceded to their request for Zuma to answer the questions that were not answered on August 21, when the question and answer session was disrupted by EFF MPs who demanded that Zuma tell the House when is he paying back the money that was spent on non-security upgrades at his home in Nkandla.

“We should be willing to consider what is on the table that we finish off the questions that were not covered that day. That matter will be given a positive consideration. It is being positively considered.”

“We are generally agreed on the programme as presented to us on the basis that on the 11th of March, we are looking at ensuring that we cover the outstanding questions that were left unanswered on that last occasion of questions to the president,” she said.

Mbete appeared to overrule the Secretary to the National Assembly Masibulele Xaso who said according to the rules, the question paper which is an extension of Parliament’s order paper lapses at the end of an annual session.

Opposition MPs from the DA, EFF, IFP and the FF Plus requested that a plan be made to ensure that Zuma answers the set of unanswered questions from last year.

“Can we have those questions added on and extra time put on the March 11 session so that the president can answer the questions that were not answered last year,” asked DA chief whip John Steenhuisen.

Meanwhile, attempts by the EFF to get Zuma to answer questions in the National Assembly before the February 12 State of the Nation Address were again shot down by the ANC.

Shivambu had proposed that Parliament sit on February 11 or on the morning of February 12 so that MPs could ask oral questions to Zuma.

ANC deputy chief whip Doris Dlakude said there would be plenty opportunities to ask Zuma questions, but not during the State of the Nation Address or before.

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