DA accuses Mbete of backpedalling on Zuma no confidence motion
The Democratic Alliance has accused the Speaker of the National Assembly (NA)‚ Baleka Mbete‚ of backpedalling on the party’s Motion of No Confidence in President Jacob Zuma.
The DA said it had noted with “serious concern” Mbete’s statement on Tuesday suggesting that the party’s Motion of No Confidence may not happen due to a “busy” parliamentary programme. DA chief whip John Steenhuisen said Motions of No Confidence clearly took priority when it came to parliamentary programming and the Speaker’s suggestion that this year’s programme was too “busy” was an insufficient excuse.
“The Constitutional Court was clear in its previous ruling that Motions of No Confidence cannot be frustrated by the Programming Committee‚” he asserted.
“Therefore‚ I have written to Ms Mbete requesting clarity regarding her statement and have asked her to confirm whether or not she has‚ in accordance with NA Rule 102A‚ consulted the Leader of Government Business‚ Cyril Ramaphosa‚ and ANC Chief Whip‚ Stone Sizani‚ regarding the DA’s request‚” Steenhuisen added.
He noted that Rule 102A (5) of the National Assembly stated that: “After proper consultation and once the Speaker is satisfied that the motion of no confidence complies with the aforementioned prescribed law‚ rules‚ orders‚ directives or guidelines of the House‚ the Speaker must ensure that the motion of no confidence is scheduled‚ debated and voted on within a reasonable period of time given the programme of the Assembly.”
“Considering the number of blunders that the President has recently made‚ Mbete’s backpedalling is merely another attempt to protect President Zuma‚ and the ANC ahead of this year’s local government elections‚” said Steenhuisen.
He pointed out that in December last year President Zuma had “recklessly” fired Finance Minister‚ Nhlanhla Nene‚ which had sent the rand into an almost unprecedented downward spiral.
“Earlier this week President Zuma claimed that South Africans and the markets had overreacted to his decision and that the effects of his decision have been exaggerated.
“The initial decision to fire Minister Nene was reckless and irrational‚ and the reaction - both domestically and internationally – was justified‚” Steenhuisen asserted.
“President Zuma’s economic leadership has been incredibly poor and he and his cabinet are bordering on intellectual bankruptcy when it comes to ideas to stimulate the economy and create jobs.
“It is for these reasons that Parliament needs to debate this motion and remove Jacob Zuma as President once and for all‚” Steenhuisen added.