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Agang SA wants Mbete off no-confidence debate

The party says Mbete, who is also ANC chairperson, will not be able to chair the debate impartially.

FILE: National Assembly Speaker Beleka Mbete in Parliament. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Agang SA says it does not want National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete to preside over this afternoon's no-confidence debate against President Jacob Zuma.

Member of Parliament (MP) Andries Tlouamma says the party believes Mbete, who is also chairperson of the African National Congress (ANC), will not be able to chair the debate impartially.

He says he'll ask Mbete to recuse herself.

"She has now become a symbol of lack of impartiality; she has now become someone who protects the ANC and the president in Parliament. She forgets that she must be the speaker of us all including the minority parties."

Meanwhile the ANC in Parliament has accused Agang SA of bringing the motion of no confidence only because it is desperate for publicity.

The ANC's Moloto Mothapo says the party will use this afternoon's debate to reaffirm confidence in Zuma.

"We are going to express confidence in the able leadership of President Zuma and we will denounce the motion that has been proposed by Agang [SA]."

Last week, Agang SA sought an urgent interdict from the Western Cape High Court to stop MPs from debating a motion of no confidence in Zuma.

The party wants MPs to vote on the motion in Parliament by way of a secret ballot.

It wanted the court to rule on the issue before the debate and vote wentahead but the party's legal challenge suffered a blow earlier in the week when the Constitutional Court dismissed its application for direct access.