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Opposition taking 'baby steps' towards strengthening Parliament

Party leaders met with Speaker Baleka Mbete & NCOP chairperson Thandi Modise about the ConCourt judgment.

The Parliament of South Africa. Picture: Aletta Harrison/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) says today's meeting between political parties and Parliament's presiding officers is a "baby step" towards strengthening the institution.

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete, who is under pressure from opposition parties to act against the President, was locked in a meeting with them for just over two hours.

Last week, parties sent letters to Mbete requesting that President Jacob Zuma be disciplined for failing to uphold, defend and respect Constitution.

The country's highest court found Zuma's failure to comply with the public protector's Nkandla report was inconsistent with the Constitution.

DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen attended the meeting and says there is a long way to go.

"Parliament's credibility is lying in tatters on the floor of the Constitutional Court and the only thing that is going to fix it is institutional reform of Parliament itself. This judgment represents a watershed moment for Parliament; it set out very clearly that Parliament failed in its duty as the primary organ of executive accountability, to perform its function."

Meanwhile, Mbete says she's had a constructive meeting with political party representatives today on the implications of the historic Nkandla judgment.

But there are no final decisions on what Parliament will do in the coming weeks and months.

Mbete says all of their requests and proposals are being considered.

"There are a range of proposals that are already before us from the different political parties. We will continue to look at matters and apply our minds on them. We will, of course, integrate the proposal of today on how we should proceed to look at the challenges in general."

WATCH: ConCourt's Nkandla ruling: What will Parliament do?

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