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'Mbete won’t be impartial in no confidence debate'

Agang SA wants Baleka Mbete barred from chairing when MPs debate a motion of no confidence in Zuma.

FILE. Agang SA wants the Baleka Mbete barred from chairing when MPs debate a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Agang SA says National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete should not be in the chair when Members of Parliament (MPs) debate a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma next month.

Tuesday, 24 February was decided on as the date for the no confidence debate by the National Assembly's programming committee when it met on Thursday.

It's the first time that Zuma will face a debate of no confidence in his leadership.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) last year brought a motion of censure against him, which was defeated.

Agang SA, which tabled the no confidence motion in November, also wants MPs to be allowed to vote in the debate by secret ballot.

The political party approached the Constitutional Court in December.

It wants the court to declare Mbete, who is also the African National Congress (ANC)'s national chairperson, unfit for office and to interdict her from presiding over the motion of no confidence in the president.

Agang SA's Andries Tlouamma says the party doesn't trust Mbete to be impartial.

"The speaker must recuse herself. We think she will be biased."

The party, which tabled the no confidence motion in November, also wants MPs to be allowed to vote in the debate by secret ballot.

"If the secret ballot is granted, this motion will succeed."

Tlouamma says he believes some ANC MPs will support the motion if they can vote in secret.