Mbete considering if it's 'Parliament's place' to discipline Zuma

2016-04-13 14:48
National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete. (Parliament TV)

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete. (Parliament TV)

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Cape Town - National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete on Wednesday said Parliament was still considering whether it was the place of the House to discipline President Jacob Zuma. 

She said this was one of the matters under consideration at a closed meeting with party leaders in Parliament on Wednesday.

This after the EFF said on Wednesday it had received confirmation from Mbete that Parliament would consider taking disciplinary action against Zuma.

The party had written to the speaker asking for disciplinary action against Zuma following the Constitutional Court judgment, which ruled that the president had failed to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution by not complying with Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's remedial action regarding payment for the non-security upgrades to his private Nkandla home.

"That letter [from the EFF] arrived in the past 24 hours, so all of that will be under consideration. Precisely whether it is the place of the National Assembly to discipline someone who is not a member [Zuma, as President, is not a Member of Parliament]."

She said the point was raised that National Assembly rules applied to Zuma when he was in the House.

"These are all the issues we are applying our minds on," she said. 

EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu said on Wednesday that they had not received a timeline on when the speaker would finish "considering their request", but would await the outcome.

"But if it is not satisfactory, we will take it to the next level."

Shivambu said it was basic logic that Zuma had to be subjected to a disciplinary process by Parliament. 

"We believe in the principle that everyone is equal before the law. If a president violates the Constitution, there must be action against them."

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen was less enthusiastic and said they had a long way to go regarding the disciplinary action.

"Remember, the president is not subject to the discipline of Parliament, he is not a Member of Parliament and therefore the ethics code does not apply to him."

Read more on:    eff  |  jacob zuma  |  baleka mbete  |  cape town  |  nkandla upgrade  |  parliament 2016

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