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Agang to try new plan of attack to get Mbete sacked

Three parties say Mbete used her position as speaker to shield the executive from parliamentary oversight.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Agang SA says it will have to change tack to ensure Parliament holds the executive to account after the party failed in its court bid to have National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete removed from her position.

The party says it will take its fight to voters and try to convince them not to support the African National Congress (ANC) in elections.

Yesterday, the Western Cape High court dismissed an application by Agang, the Congress of the People (Cope) and the United Democratic Movement (UDM) to have Mbete, who is also the chairperson of the ANC, declared unfit to hold office as speaker.

The three parties argued that Mbete used her position to shield the executive from parliamentary oversight.

They further argued that her disparaging remarks about opposition members of Parliament (MPs) and biased rulings showed she was not fit to hold the office of speaker.

But three High Court judges said it would be inappropriate for the court to intervene because the Constitution gives the National Assembly the power to remove the speaker.

Agang SA's Andries Tlouamma says this defeat requires a change in strategy.

"We need not only to rely on courts, we must take our war to communities. [It's] a justifiable war to protect our democracy and to make sure that every person who is working as a public figure is accountable to the people, not his friends or his party."

Both Parliament and the ANC welcomed yesterday's judgment.