Opposition parties vs Mbete: Case to be heard in court

Agang SA, Cope and UDM say her role as Chairperson of ANC impedes her ability to do her duty as Speaker.

Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - A court case brought by three opposition parties to have National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete declared unfit and biased is expected to be heard in the Western Cape High Court tomorrow.

Agang SA, Congress of the People(Cope) and the United Democratic Movement (UDM) also want the court to order the National Assembly to allow MPs to vote on a motion of no confidence in the President by way of a secret ballot.

The three parties argue Mbete's concurrent role as Chairperson of the African National Congress (ANC) and Speaker of the National Assembly impedes her ability to perform her functions in Parliament objectively.

Late last year Agang SA tabled a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.

When Mbete refused to recuse herself from a debate on the motion in Parliament, the party turned to the courts to declare her unfit to hold office.

The party's parliamentary leader, Andries Tlouamma said, "Without a Speaker who is impartial, Parliament is like a spaza shop, an ANC rally; so that's why the removal of the Speaker is extremely important."

Tlouamma says he will table another motion of 'no confidence' to the president after the court rules on the matter.