African Times News Digital Edition | www.africantimesnews.co.za | @AfricanTimesSA
PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma’s political career and as South Africa’s number one citizen is hanging by a thread following Parliament’s decision to allow a vote of no confidence in him.
On Friday, Speaker of Parliament, Baleka Mbete announced that she had set a date for a motion of no confidence debate in Zuma for late February. Parliament spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said Mbete had written to the Economic Freedom Fighters informing them that the debate was scheduled for February 22.
“In her letter to the EFF, Ms Mbete informed EFF leader Mr Julius Malema that she had decided to schedule their requested motion of no confidence in the President for 22 February. The determination had taken into account the Programme of the National Assembly, including the State of the Nation Address, the debate on the Address, the President’s reply to the debate and the tabling of the national budget on 21 February. Ms Mbete had also consulted relevant stakeholders,” he said.
The DA had requested that the Sona be postponed until Zuma is removed from office while the EFF wanted the monition of no confidence to be tabled before Sona. However, the two parties were not granted their wishes.
The EFF has however indicated that they will use the platform to expose Zuma as an illegitimate president. Zuma is facing a barrage of attacks from the opposition and as well as from within his movement. Calls of his removal have gotten louder since Cyril Ramaphosa won the party’s elective conference in December.
Mothapo further indicated that Mbete had written to the leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) about their requests related to the forthcoming State of the Nation Address.
“In her letter replying to the DA leader Mr Mmusi Maimane’s request that the State of the Nation Address be postponed, Ms Mbete explained that the President, as head of State and Government, had exercised powers vested in him in terms of the Constitution (section 84(2)(d), read together with Joint Rule 7(1), when he called on Parliament to convene the State of the Nation Address. The Joint Programme Committee had also further ratified the convening of the Address, at its meeting on 16 November 2017. The Speaker, therefore, had no power to accede to the DA’s request to postpone the State of the Nation Address, scheduled for delivery to a joint sitting of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces on 8 February. Joint sittings were also matters of concern to both Houses of Parliament,” he said.