DA, ANC spin ConCourt ruling

2012-11-30 22:06

Johannesburg - Friday's Constitutional Court decision to hear an application concerning a no-confidence debate about President Jacob Zuma was celebrated by the DA and ANC for very different reasons.

African National Congress Chief Whip Mathole Motshekga said the party felt "vindicated" that the court dismissed an application to force Parliament to hold the debate before 7 December.

"The directions issued by the nine Concourt judges indicate today that the application by the opposition parties to have the matter heard 'as a matter of urgency' is refused," Motshekga said in a statement.

Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said she was disappointed the application would only be heard next year.

However the court's decision to hear the matter was "a great victory for our continued efforts to uphold the constitutional principle that a majority party cannot block a debate on a motion of no confidence."

The application would be heard on 28 March.

Mazibuko, supported by seven other opposition parties, tabled the motion on 8 November. However Sisulu later adjourned a programming committee meeting without the debate being scheduled, on the basis that no consensus had been reached.

The National Assembly has subsequently held its last scheduled sitting for 2012.

On Friday, Mazibuko said the court had ordered National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu to file a report on 14 March, on progress achieved in ensuring that motions of no confidence were appropriately provided for in the National Assembly's rules.

Motshekga said the court's decision reinforced the ANC's "long-standing view that this motion is publicity gimmick, frivolous and without basis."

"The Concourt agrees with our view that this motion is not urgent... No sky will fall if this motion is debated when Parliament reopens next year, as proposed by ANC."

Motshekga said the motion was "deliberately timed to tarnish the image of the president ahead of the Mangaung conference."

Opposition parties had to stop politicising courts by involving them in their political battles, he said.

"Instead, they must come back to the table and assist in the review of rules to ensure that any gaps in the National Assembly rules is [sic] fixed."

Mazibuko said the court would be able to consider whether the Assembly's rules "in failing, effectively, to provide for a deadlock-breaking mechanism", were unconstitutional.

Earlier this month Judge Dennis Davis ruled in the Western Cape High Court that it was any MP's right to request a no confidence debate, and that such requests were "by their very nature" urgent.

But, because the National Assembly rules did not make provision for no confidence debates, Davis could not tell Sisulu when and where the debate should be heard.

On Friday, Motshekga had harsh words for a "certain section" of the media.

"It is a sad indictment of the state of our media that when the DA scores court victories against the ANC government such is celebrated through screaming front-page headlines and hailed as victory for the rule of law and the Constitution.

"However, when the ANC is proven correct by the courts of law facts are distorted and then used to crucify it."

  • godfrey.welman - 2012-11-30 22:31

    And who call the judges "counter-revolutionaries" if judgement goes against them???

      beverly.young3 - 2012-12-01 17:43

      I read in one of the other papers, that it would cost R12 million to recall parliment to hold this debate?? OY VEY!

  • mark.a.fysh - 2012-11-30 23:00

    "However, when the ANC is proven correct by the courts of law facts are distorted and then used to crucify it." That's why the ANC wants to muzzle the press, isn't it Motshekga?

  • prakash.singh.169 - 2012-11-30 23:10


      ntebu.mthi - 2012-12-01 12:42

      The spy tapes are wanted from the NPA. The NPA should therefore hand over the spy tapes to the DA. Zuma is not above the law and the constitution of the country does not allow him to be above the law.

      khusani.simphiwe - 2012-12-01 20:09

      zuma is no saint and what you saying is true he handover the spy tape n go to jail just like any official criminal.

  • ngcosman - 2012-12-01 05:08

    There is only one victor here, the ANC. Lindiwe and the DA must accept that they've lost. Bigups to the ConCourt by not allowing DA to influence the processes of the ANC.

      derek.francois.3 - 2012-12-01 05:42

      Aaaaaiiish Ngcosman the argument is about the parliament processes and not ANC processes - this is not about a party winning but about upholding the now back to school with you

      siphom.mnguni - 2012-12-01 06:29

      A little education in understanding the law would help you. First, a free booklet obtained free of charge at the Constitutional Court. Secondly, if a matter is postponed to be heard in March 28, it means there are no victors yet. Just keep on supporting your beloved ANC but educate yourself in order to comment wisely.

      ntebu.mthi - 2012-12-01 12:47

      Ngcosman urgently find an ANC political school near your area. That's why the DA is having a meal on the ANC, it is because the ANC is filled with uninformed comrades like you. Knowledge is power! That's why all previous ANC leaders were knowledgable and wise men who could lead the movement to 100years. If the ANC aspires not to be extinct in future, it should be led by a knowledgable leadership and its members should be knowledgable too.

  • Sibusiso - 2012-12-01 06:01

    We need to depose of the ANC govt in the next polls.However ,we cannot afford to replace it with a DA govt.The attitude of their supporters here on these threads is evidence enough that a vote for DA would be tantamount to a re-introduction of white supremacist policies!

      matthew.patrick.925 - 2012-12-01 06:57

      Ignore them, the majority (all races) only come and rant here because it's the only forum they have to safely spew all their prejudiced BS. The rest of us are just concerned that the powers that be seek to bend the constitution to suit them. A more competitive DA, e.g. if they took another province or 2 from the ANC, will drive the ANC to perform better and we will all reap the benefits of a less lob-sided democracy.

      bobby.rosewood.1 - 2012-12-01 07:39

      The ones that come on here with a fake name find pleasure in abusing others without the risk of being dragged to court for it. You should't worry, this is not representative of the population, these are the misfits of all cultures/background/population groups.

      bruce.arnett.18 - 2012-12-01 10:12

      Judge the party by its leadership and policy, not by some of its misguided followers.

      Sibusiso - 2012-12-01 12:39

      The way DA supporters go on about blacks,it's sickening.Instead of criticizing the ANC govt ,they go beyond that and blame its actions on skin colour.They would sing Mandela's praises but when the Reserve Bank announces that SA notes would bear Mandela's face ,the true colours come out.They criticise the move.Why?They can't bear his on their money!

      retief.jordaan.35 - 2012-12-01 14:08

      Jees Sibusiso, I can’t believe that there are still people out there that keep on with this whole racism thing. Let the past be in the past, use it to learn from mistakes and don’t use it as an excuse. Fix that chip on your shoulder, and maybe, if results are good enough, give credit where credit is due. Well done for the DA and all the good work being done in Cape Town and the rest of the Western Cape. They are miles ahead of the rest of the country! I wish I could see the same work being done in the ANC led provinces, but I am afraid that there is very little good news coming from there...

  • dentamokhabz - 2012-12-01 07:48

    The opposition are indirectly campaigning for Zuma to be removed from Mangaung.

      thys.human.75 - 2012-12-01 10:35

      Yes, but do they have the right or is it the proper thing to do? I don't think so. Did the ANC campaign for Zille's removal before the DA congress? No!

      thys.human.75 - 2012-12-01 10:37

      Ja Delusion, and it is going to happen again! You will have your chance to vote against him in a couple of years. But I think you are going to lose and Zuma will win that as well. Tragic maybe, but true.

  • rory.short1 - 2012-12-01 08:28

    'Opposition parties had to stop politicising courts by involving them in their political battles, he said.' Wake up Motshegka, Life is political. The political is not some sphere which can be divorced from life. As I remember 'its political' was a phrase that the old National party loved to say when it was trying to suppress criticism of its actions. The courts, especially the Con Court, are there to try achieve a fair balance in the political.

  • sipho.zuma.796 - 2012-12-01 09:14

    The con court should be independent. Govt. departments should be independent of parties. We are forgetting this country is a democracy. ANC propaganda must stop

  • theMichaelHawthorne - 2012-12-01 09:45

    DA 2 : ANC -5

  • Karabo Phetoane - 2012-12-01 11:31

    @Delusion.buster you cant vote anyone in because you are an absolute minority,the only person you can complain about is Zille because you can only vote her in as leader of DA.

  • Karabo Phetoane - 2012-12-01 11:41

    @DelutionBuster you can never vote anyone in because you are an absolute minority,the only person you can vote in is Zille as the leader of the DA.

  • pages:
  • 1