DA hopes to have Zuma debate before recess

2015-03-06 16:09
President Jacob Zuma (AP)

President Jacob Zuma (AP)

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Cape Town - The DA hopes to have its motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma debated before the end of the parliamentary term in late March, but the ANC does not believe the matter is urgent.

Democratic Alliance Chief Whip John Steenhuisen, who tabled the motion 40 minutes after AgangSA scuppered such a debate on Tuesday, said: "We think a month is a reasonable time, we would like it to happen before Parliament rises."

He said National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete had indicated it would be discussed at next Thursday's meeting of the Assembly programming committee, and said he expected a date could be set then.

Steenhuisen said the DA immediately brought another motion of no confidence after AgangSA deputy president Andries Tlouamma withdrew his to re-affirm the necessity of debating Zuma's record.

"I think we must have the debate. Agang's behaviour made a joke of the process and I'm not sure it is something you take lightly."

African National Congress Chief Whip Stone Sizani's spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said while Parliament was legally obliged to entertain the debate within a reasonable time, the ruling party viewed the DA's motion in the same light as that of AgangSA.

"The DA's motion is the same rubbish as Agang's. Time and superior argument will reveal that it has absolutely no substance.

"Frankly, the public have nothing to derive from this level of time-wasting by the opposition."

‘Abusing the Constitution’

He accused the opposition of abusing section 102 of the Constitution, which states that the president must resign if the National Assembly passes a vote of no confidence in him.

Tlouamma withdrew his motion after arguing in his speech to the Chamber that a vote would be pointless unless MPs were allowed to proceed by secret ballot.

AgangSA tabled the motion in November last year, after the DA fought a long battle in the fourth Parliament and in court to have a no confidence in Zuma debate.

It ended with the Constitutional Court ordering Parliament to bring its rules in line with the Constitution to make provision for a no confidence motion to be debated within reasonable time of being tabled.

Steenhuisen said the party did not bring a motion immediately after the rules were duly amended last year because it waited to secure the so-called "spy tapes" that informed the National Prosecuting Authority's decision to drop corruption charges against Zuma shortly before he became president.

"We now have the tapes and they have confirmed that decision was politically driven and we now have further ammunition as to why the president is not suitable for the post."

Mothapo said while the ANC respected the new rules demanding the debate take place within a reasonable delay, it would have to compete for a time slot with other pressing business of the legislature and could wait until after the recess.

"We don't think it is an urgent matter."

Read more on:    agang sa  |  da  |  anc  |  moloto mothapo  |  jacob zuma  |  john steenhuisen  |  baleka mbete  |  cape town  |  parliament 2015  |  politics

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