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Mbete's delay in announcing decision smacks of arrogance: Activist

07 August 2017 - 15:09 By Bianca Capazorio
Speaker Baleka Mbete. File photo.
Speaker Baleka Mbete. File photo.
Image: Supplied

Constitutional activist Lawson Naidoo says he believes that speaker Baleka Mbete's delay in announcing her decision on the no confidence ballot "smacks of arrogance" and is not in the best interests of the country.

Addressing the Cape Town Press Club on Monday afternoon‚ Naidoo‚ executive secretary for the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution said that had Mbete taken a decision shortly after receiving political party submissions on July 14‚ it would have been difficult to argue that her decision was irrational because there was a "strong argument for openness and transparency" in the way in which Parliament conducts its business. But‚ he said the 46-day delay‚ "calls into question her bona fides" especially given threats of violence and intimidation of MPs.

"There is no way the delay can be said to be in the best interests of Parliament‚" he said.

Naidoo also questioned Mbete's ability to remain neutral in the debate.

In July‚ Mbete told media on the sidelines of the ANC policy conference: "It’s really of no major material basis that technically the votes would be either secret or not because at the end of the day‚ ANC MPs know how to vote. They have done it seven times. So this eighth time can’t be different‚ it doesn’t matter whether it is secret or not secret.”

"So having instructed MPs how to vote‚ she will then preside over the debate‚" Naidoo said.