22 November 2012

South Africa: Court Rejects DA Motion Debate

Photo: The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa
President Jacob Zuma and Parliament Speaker Max Sisulu, with first lady Makhumalo in the background, arrive at Parliament to attend the 2012 State Of the Nation Address in Cape Town.

Cape Town — The Western Cape High Court has dismissed an urgent application to force a parliamentary debate on a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.

In his ruling on Thursday afternoon, Judge Dennis Davis said there were gaps in the National Assembly rules, but found it was not for the court to dictate to Parliament.

The application was brought on Tuesday by Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko on behalf of eight opposition parties.

It sought to compel National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu to schedule the motion of no confidence debate before Parliament went into recess.

Mazibuko officially gave notice of the motion in the Assembly on November 8. She brought it on the grounds "that under his [Zuma's] leadership the justice system has been politicised and weakened; corruption has spiralled out of control; unemployment continues to increase, the economy is weakening, and the right of access to quality education has been violated".

Last week, Sisulu adjourned an Assembly programming committee meeting without the debate being scheduled, on the basis that no consensus had been reached.

The other respondent in the application was ANC Chief Whip Mathole Motshekga, who described the motion as "frivolous and without foundation".

The court heard the application on Tuesday and Davis reserved judgment until Thursday.

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