Mbete can’t postpone vote of no confidence on UDM, EFF’s requests

The National Assembly Speaker says she can only postpone the matter at the request of Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane whose party issued the motion.

President Jacob Zuma and National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete outside Parliament ahead of State of the Nation Address in 2015. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete says she can't consider a request by the United Democratic Movement (UDM) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) to postpone next week's debate and vote on a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.

The parties requested a postponement following directives issued by the Constitutional Court in a matter in which the UDM is seeking to have the vote held in secret.

But Mbete says she can only postpone the matter at the request of Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane whose party issued the motion.

The opposition parties had pressed Mbete to reconvene Parliament during this recess period, especially to debate a motion of no confidence in Zuma.

But now they want the debate postponed, to allow a Constitutional Court challenge by the UDM to unfold.

On Tuesday the court gave parties until next week to make written submissions on a bid for a secret vote.

Parliament Spokesperson Moloto Mothapo says the speaker has responded to the UDM's request for Tuesday's debate to be postponed.

“In this regard, the request from the UDM and other parties is misdirected because Mr Maimane under whose name the motion of 18 April is filed is the only one who is empowered to withdraw that motion.”

The DA says it's meeting with its legal team to discuss the speaker's response.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)