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Opposition parties’ bid to remove Baleka Mbete fails

Agang SA, Cope & the UDM wanted a court order declaring that Mbete is not fit and proper to hold office.

FILE: Parliamentary Speaker Baleka Mbete. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - Three opposition parties have lost their bid to remove National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete from office.

Agang SA, Congress of the People (Cope) and the United Democratic Movement(UDM) wanted a court order declaring that Mbete is not fit and proper to hold the office of speaker.

Today their case was dismissed by the Western Cape High Court.

The applicants argued that Mbete, who is also the chairperson of the African National Congress, had lost the confidence of all opposition parties due to perceived bias and partisanship towards the ruling party.

They contended the speaker had issued a series of patently biased and unfair rulings in the National Assembly and that she failed to place appropriate distance between herself and the ANC.

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 three parties failed to convince a full bench of the Western Cape High Court that Mbete is not fit to hold the office of speaker.