Mbete pressing ahead with no confidence consultations‚ spokesman says
Jan Bornman | 2017-04-04 16:15:45.0
Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete and the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces Thandi Modise. File photo
Image by: Gallo Images / Beeld / Nasief Manie
Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete is pressing ahead with the consultation process on opposition calls for a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma‚ a spokesman said on Tuesday.
However‚ opposition parties say they haven’t heard from her yet.
Mbete cut short a working trip to Bangladesh to address opposition calls for the no confidence vote‚ following Zuma’s controversial cabinet reshuffle last week.
There has been growing calls for Zuma to step down following the reshuffle‚ with the sacking of former minister of finance‚ Pravin Gordhan‚ having the biggest impact as credit ratings agency Standard and Poor’s on Monday downgrading South Africa to junk status.
Parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo confirmed on Tuesday that Mbete was following up on a promise made on Sunday that she would begin the consultation process on her return.
“All that we can say is that the speaker has committed to resume the consultation process today [Tuesday] and that the rules stipulate that she must consult with the chief whip of the majority party [Jackson Mthembu] as well as the leader of government business‚ that is the deputy president [Cyril Ramaphosa]‚” he said.
“Unfortunately we are not in a position to give a blow-by-blow account on the consultation process‚” Mothapo said.
He said once the process had been completed‚ the speaker would respond to the opposition parties.
“We don’t want to preempt the process. But from the speaker’s side‚ she has said it needs to be done swiftly‚” he said.
Chief whip for the DA John Steenhuisen said he hadn’t heard from Mbete yet.
Steenhuisen said the DA would consider court action to compel a sitting if Mbete failed to call an earlier sitting of Parliament to debate the motion‚ as Parliament was currently in recess and only scheduled to resume in May.
Bantu Holomisa‚ leader of the UDM‚ also said he hadn’t heard anything from Mbete or her office yet.
– TMG Digital/The Times