Parties’ motion to remove Mbete dismissed

BY CHARL BOSCH - OCTOBER 8, 2015

Parliament has welcomed the ruling of the Western Cape High Court to reject a motion, brought by the United Democratic Movement (UDM), Congress of the People (Cope) and Agang, for the dismissal of Baleka Mbete as Speaker of the National Assembly.

The parties have stated that Mbete is showing favouritism towards the ruling African National Congress (ANC), and that she is unfit to hold office.

In passing its judgement yesterday, the court said Mbete, who is also part of the ruling party’s National Executive Committee, is well aware of the task at hand in Parliament, and that no legal measures could be found in relieving her of her duties as speaker and NEC member.

“The Speaker is entitled to remain as an office bearer of a political party, participate in its activities and campaign for political rights. Affiliation to a political party cannot in itself point to a lack of objectivity and impartiality,” the court said.

In a statement on Politicsweb, Parliament stated that blaming Mbete for the recent chaotic sessions in the Nation Assembly was “inconceivable” as “she is obliged to conduct proceedings within confined boundaries set by Parliament rules and procedures”.

“Parliament wishes to again encourage Members to use the review of the Rules process to make meaningful contribution and improve the Rules of the National Assembly rather than resorting to recurrent applications to the courts,” the statement read.

“There are processes within Parliament to address any grievances or shortcomings in the current legislative instruments. MPs are encouraged to take advantage of the review of the Rules to ensure that the Rules facilitate the discharge of their mandate rather than hinder them”.