Mbete firm on blocking debate on DA impeachment plan

The DA is threatening to go to court to compel Parliament to schedule the debate on its impeachment motion.

FILE: Speaker Baleka Mbete. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete is standing firm on her decision to block debate on the Democratic Alliance (DA)'s motion to impeach President Jacob Zuma.

The motion centres on government's conduct over Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir' s controversial departure from South Africa after the African Union (AU) summit here in June.

The DA says Zuma violated his presidential oath to uphold the constitution and all other laws of the land when al-Bashir was allowed to depart despite a high court ruling that he remain in the country.

Mbete says the matter is sub judice as the government's appealing the ruling.

The DA disagrees and is threatening to go to court to compel Parliament to schedule the debate on its impeachment motion.

Mbete was unmoving.

"As a presiding officer I have exercised my own mind and I agree that it would be an untenable situation for this kind of issue, which is still before the courts, to be debated in the house and that's the decision I have made."

DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen said, "This that you are doing is nothing more than an attempt to protect president Zuma at all costs, as usual. This parliament does not belong to you madam speaker, it belongs to all of us."

The DA's now saying that if Mbete doesn't agree to the debate by Monday it will approach the Western Cape High Court.