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Mbete's legal team disagrees she failed to take steps to hold Zuma accountable

The EFF wants the Constitutional court to compel the National Assembly speaker to convene a committee of Parliament to investigate President Jacob Zuma's conduct in the Nkandla scandal.

FILE: ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete on 5 July 2017. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Baleka Mbete's legal counsel has argued that because the president hasn't been impeached, it doesn't mean steps haven't been taken to hold him accountable.

The Economic Freedom Fighters wants the Constitutional Court to compel the National Assembly speaker to convene a committee of Parliament to investigate President Jacob Zuma's conduct in the Nkandla scandal and determine whether he's guilty of an offence which would warrant his removal.

Advocate Ngoake Maenetje says action has been taken.

“She refers to the 5th of April 2016 motion that has been debated with our learned friends. So the court is aware of that. The second place where she sets out what was done is page 195, 2016, she refers again to the impeachment proceeding.

SPEAKER DID TAKE ACTION, BUT COULD HAVE BEEN MORE PROACTIVE

Mbete's legal counsel has accepted that President Zuma seriously violated the Constitution but disagrees that she failed to take steps to hold him accountable.

Maenetje says the speaker did take action by means of motions of no confidence and sessions in Parliament, although she could have been more proactive.

“We accept that, as a lawyer, I am making the submission as a lawyer and not as a member of the National Assembly. As a lawyer, this is a serious violation of the Constitution. But of course, as Justice Cameron raised with our learned friends, Parliament makes a value judgment when it decides whether to remove. They might differ with that and decide by majority vote that they are not going to remove the president.”

(Edited by Zinhle Nkosi)