DA proposes its own motion of no confidence

2015-03-06 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Another motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma, the third in three years, is being contemplated.

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen tabled his party’s notice of the motion before Parliament programme committee yesterday.

Speaker Baleka Mbete aknowledged the receipt of the notice and said a decision on how to proceed will now be taken.

Agang withdrew a no-confidence motion just before it was supposed to be debated this week.

Steenhuisen decried Agang’s decsion. “It is a pity that Agang handled such an important question so badly.”

However, Agang’s parliamentary leader Andries Tlouamma said the motion was withdrawn because it would have been meaningless with Zuma absent and Mbete in the chair.

Steenhuisen said the DA is convinced the impact of Zuma’s presidency is a question of national importance that must be debated properly.

“We now know the decision to drop the hundreds of charges of fraud and corruption against the president was political. We can’t let things go on like this.

“It’s clear that the president uses state institutions to protect himself on the Nkandla issue and the many charges of corruption. He must be called to account on Parliament and the courts.”

Steenhuisen acknowledged thet the ANC would be able to defeat a no-confidence motion with its large majority, but said South Africans deserve to hear the debate in the national interest, because the economy is suffering and the country is in an electricity crisis under Zuma’s leadership.

ANC chief whip Stone Sizane said such motions should be reserved for “extremely important questions and about issues that have actually happened and that the president should have foreseen”. Otherwise , “it’s a waste of time and taxpayers’ money”.

He ascribed it to a “lay the blame on Zuma” culture.

“Even if it’s too hot in the Cape, or the mountain is on fire, they want to blame him,” he said.

It would be the second time the DA has proposed a no-confidence motion. The previous one, in 2012, went all the way to the Constitutional Court, which ruled that Parliament’s rules should be amended to allow debate within a reasonable time.

Constitutional scholar Pierre de Vos has said that such motions are symbolically important even if doomed to fail.

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