ConCourt to hear application calling on Mbete to act against Zuma

05 September 2017 - 09:51
By Natasha Marrian
Speaker Baleka Mbete. File photo.
Image: AFP Speaker Baleka Mbete. File photo.

An opposition party application to the Constitutional Court to force Parliament to act against President Jacob Zuma is set to place Speaker Baleka Mbete's conduct under scrutiny once again when it is heard on Tuesday.

The Speaker has twice been found wanting by the court in the last 18 months - over the Nkandla matter as well as in the more recent secret ballot judgment.

The Economic Freedom Fighters‚ United Democratic Movement‚ Congress of the People and the DA have argued in court papers that the Speaker had failed to put in place appropriate processes and mechanisms to hold the president accountable following his failure to implement the Public Protector’s Report of 19 March 2014. The parties argue that Mbete's failure meant she had violated the constitution. They are seeking an order to compel Parliament to conduct an investigation into Zuma's conduct to determine whether his offences warrant initiating impeachment processes against him.

The DA was admitted as an intervening party in the matter last month and Corruption Watch has been admitted as a "friend of the court" or amicus curiae.

Opposition parties have based their arguments on the Constitutional Court judgment in the Nkandla matter‚ handed down in March 2016‚ which compelled Zuma to pay back the money spent on his Nkandla homestead‚ which was found to have unduly benefitted him and his family.

Mbete is opposing the application and denies that Parliament has failed to hold the president accountable. She refers to various motions of no confidence that have been brought by the opposition parties in the National Assembly‚ which failed. She says these as well as question-and-answer sessions involving the president demonstrate that the National Assembly has taken measures to hold him accountable.

The matter is set to be heard from 10am.

- BusinessLIVE