'Parliament should resolve its own issues'

The National Assembly. Picture: Parliament.gov.za

CAPE TOWN - The ANC in parliament on Wednesday said the judiciary should not unnecessarily be drawn in to deal with disagreements in the house.

The party on Wednesday welcomed the Western Cape High Court's decision to dismiss Congress of the People (COPE) leader Mosiuoa Lekota's case challenging his ousting from the national assembly in October.

Lekota turned to the court after twice getting into trouble with deputy speaker Nomaindia Mfeketo, for criticising President Jacob Zuma.

The COPE president would not withdraw a statement in which he said the National Assembly should institute impeachment proceedings against President Zuma because he was refusing to comply with an order made by the Supreme Court of Appeal to hand over spy tapes that were used to drop corruption charges against Zuma in 2009 to the Democratic Alliance.

COPE general secretary Lyndall Shope-Mafole said lawyers would study the judgment before deciding on their next move.

“We are not happy, we believe it is a wrong judgement.”

Meanwhile, the ANC in parliament has welcomed the judge's ruling.

Spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said the court’s ruling showed that disagreements should be resolved within the structures of parliament.

“It cannot be up to the courts to micro-manage or interfere in the internal management of parliament.”

Lekota got into trouble with the deputy speaker earlier this year, when he claimed President Zuma violated his oath of office by not defending the constitutional rights of artist Brett Murray during debacle around The Spear painting.