President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday said he would resign with an open heart if the ANC wanted him to resign immediately.
“There is a few more months left before my task as president ends. In December, a new president will be elected. I don’t know who it will be, the ANC will elect.
“In 2019, I will take off my hat being the state president. I want to tell you that even if you said tomorrow I should step down from these positions, I would do so with a clean heart,” Zuma told thousands of ANC members who had gathered to celebrate his 75th birthday in Kliptown, Soweto.
Breaking: the Speaker has acceded to the DA request for a postponement of the Motion of no confidence. pic.twitter.com/VRtpKAazQx
— John Steenhuisen MP (@jsteenhuisen) April 12, 2017
John Steenhuisen MP
Chief Whip of the Democratic Alliance
The press statement by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, indicating that the Motion of No Confidence in President Jacob Zuma can only be withdrawn by the MP that sponsors it, flat out ignores our request for the motion to be postponed.
Indeed, the DA never indicated that the Motion of No Confidence will be withdrawn but only requested that the Speaker postpone the motion due to the importance of the pending Constitutional Court application. The rules clearly allow for it to be postponed.
The DA will therefore not withdraw the Leader of the Opposition’s Motion of No Confidence in President Zuma.
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.
Rule 129(5) of the National Assembly provides as follows:
“After proper consultation and once the Speaker is satisfied that the motion of no confidence complies with the aforementioned prescribed law, rules and orders of the House and directives or guidelines of the Rules Committee, the Speaker must ensure that the motion of no confidence is scheduled, debated and voted on within a reasonable period of time given the program of the Assembly.”
This rule clearly gives the Speaker 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.
We have therefore written to the Speaker to again urge her to postpone the existing motion, pending the outcome of the Constitutional Court matter, or any further directives provided by it.
The rules provide her with this authority and she must now exercise it so that the people of South Africa can be put first again.