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Mbete’s refusal to recuse herself might impact Parly’s rules

Whether or not she should have recused herself yesterday was on Parliament’s rules review meeting agenda.

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

CAPE TOWN - The National Assembly Speaker's refusal to recuse herself from a historic impeachment debate in Parliament has loomed large over MPs tasked with overhauling Parliament's rule book.

A committee reviewing the National Assembly's rules is dealing with guidelines for the removal of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker during a meeting in Parliament today.

It's part of a protracted process, which gained momentum last year, of reviewing all of the legislature's rules and procedures

Whether or not Speaker Baleka Mbete should have recused herself from yesterday's debate was top of mind for Members of Parliament (MPs) who met to review Parliament's rules today.

Committee member and Democratic Alliance Member of Parliament, Natasha Mazzone, proposed a way forward.

"Any time there is a causal link or an association with a motion being debated in the House or an issue that's being debated in the house and the presiding officer, the presiding officer must recuse themselves."

Opposition parties argued in the house yesterday that Mbete was not fit to preside over the impeachment debate because as head of the legislature, she was complicit in the National Assembly being found guilty by the Constitutional Court of failing to hold the executive to account.

At the time, Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema warned Mbete he'll take her to court for refusing to step aside.

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