Meanwhile, the DA says the speaker’s ‘priorities are clear for all to see’.
EFF leader Julius Malema says you need to have your brains examined if you thought speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete would say something valuable during her press conference on Sunday.
Mbete, who the EFF leader says is a “useless fellow”, had to cut short her working visit to Bangladesh to address the media after an urgent request to convene a sitting for yet another motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.
In a statement, Mbete said she received a letter from opposition parties requesting that she convene a motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma. The speaker said she would have to consult with ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“Earlier today I arrived back to South Africa from Bangladesh, where I was leading a multiparty delegation of the South African Parliament to the Assembly of the International Parliamentary Unions (IPU).
“Crucial as our role in this Session was, I had to cut my participation in the light of the recent developments, which have thrust the Constitutional role of Parliament into the matter. These developments include the Speaker of the National Assembly being cited as a respondent in the matter between the Official Opposition and the President of the Republic at the Western Cape High Court, in which the Official Opposition sought to interdict the swearing-in of new Members of the Executive.
“The Court was, amongst others, asked to compel Parliament to urgently schedule a Motion of No Confidence in the President. No finding was made against the Speaker in respect of the relief sought by the Official Opposition.
“The office of the Speaker 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). 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.”
The EFF leader felt that Mbete said “absolutely nothing”, and that she had needlessly disrupted his Sunday lunch.
“If you are disappointed by Baleka’s press conference, you should have your head examined because that’s just her, a useless fellow.
“Madam speaker … is it parliamentary to fly across continents, call a press conference, disrupt our Sunday lunches and say ABSOLUTELY NOTHING??”
‘Parliament must not be found wanting’
The DA said Mbete’s “unwavering” loyalty to the president would surely influence her decision on the question of the motion of no confidence in the president.
The party said it was disappointing that the national speaker would visit ANC headquarters Luthuli House to consult on the matter.
“Whilst we appreciate Mbete’s duty to consult, we cannot allow her office to dawdle. It is disappointing that she is set to visit Luthuli House tomorrow and Parliament only on Tuesday. Her priorities are clear for all to see.
“Historically, Mbete’s loyalty to Zuma has been unwavering, and she has rarely hesitated to undermine the institution of Parliament to shield him.
“South Africa is now experiencing a groundswell of opposition to Zuma and his undisguised project of state capture. Parliament cannot be sidelined by a biased Speaker who puts party before country.”