Cape Town – The Opposition Democratic Alliance will not withdraw the motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma.
Instead, the party has again written to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete, asking for the motion to be postponed.
The motion is due to be debated on Tuesday, April 18.
DA chief whip John Steenhuisen said the rules of Parliament allowed for the motion to be postponed.
Parliament on Wednesday said Mbete did not have the powers to withdraw a motion and that it could only be done at the request of the DA leader Mmusi Maimane.
“This side-stepping of our important request is precisely the condemnable conduct that one would expect from the ANC’s pro-Zuma Chairperson, also masquerading as the Speaker of Parliament. Mbete is determined to do everything possible to protect Jacob Zuma, and disregard the will of the people,” Steenhuisen said.
He said rule 129(5) of the National Assembly gave Mbete the power to schedule the motion and therefore, also the implied power to postpone and reschedule such a motion.
“This differs from the scheduling of other NA business which would require the National Assembly Programming Committee to either schedule or reschedule matters. Business that has been scheduled, such as bills and reports, have been re-scheduled in the past.”
He called for Mbete to exercise her authority “so that the people of South Africa can be put first again”.
The DA, Economic Freedom Fighters and the United Democratic Movement have called for the motion to be postponed.
This was after the Constitutional Court on Tuesday gave parties, wishing to oppose the UDM’s application for a secret ballot, until 12:00 on Thursday to file papers, and the UDM until 16:00 next Wednesday to file its reply.
By Thulani Gqirana,