JPHANNESBURG, The South African Parliament will begin a process of consultation following requests from opposition parties for Parliament to schedule a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma, says national Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbeke.
“Therefore, as of today, we begin a process of consultation contemplated in the rules in the consideration of the requests submitted. I envisage that the consultation should be concluded as soon as possible,” Mbeke said Sunday, shortly arring bank in South Africa after cutting short a trip at the head of a multi-party delegation of the South African Parliament to the Assembly of the International Parliamentary Unions (IPU) in Bangladesh.
The Speaker cut her trip short as the Speaker of the National Assembly is being cited as a respondent in the matter between the official Parliamentary opposition and the President in the Western Cape High Court as the opposition seeks to interdict the swearing-in of new Cabinet Ministers appointed by President Zuma last week.
The Court was, among other matters, asked to compel Parliament to urgently schedule a Motion of No Confidence in the President. There was no finding made against the Speaker in respect of the relief sought by the Opposition.
Briefing journalists at OR Tambo International Airport here, Mbete said her office on Thursday received a request from the Leader of the Opposition for a motion of no confidence in the President to be scheduled. The letter indicated that the motion be scheduled when Parliament reconvenes. Later on the same day, a similar request was received from the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), one of the main opposition parties.
“The letter made a further request for the National Assembly to be convened for a special sitting in the week of 3 April to debate and vote on a similar motion,” she said.
On Friday, the Office of the Speaker again received a letter from the Official Opposition requesting that the National Assembly resume its business earlier to process the motion. National Assembly members are currently undertaking their constituency responsibilities across the country. Members are scheduled to return to Parliament from the beginning of May.
“The consultation process prescribed by the rules is meant to deal with these issues. Given the seriousness inherent in the Motions of Confidence and their implications on the nation, I have decided to cut my working trip to Bangladesh to ensure that these requests are given the appropriate consideration,” the Speaker said.
Responding to a question, the Speaker said the consultation process should take a few days. “It will take a few days, it won’t take months.”
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK