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Zuma no confidence debate headed for high court
15:35 (GMT+2) Mon, 19 Nov 2012

The Cape Town High Court will hear an urgent application by opposition parties on Tuesday to compel National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu to schedule a debate on a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.

The application for the urgent interdict was launched on Friday by Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko on behalf of a number of opposition parties.

The application seeks an order to hold the debate on the vote of no-confidence before Parliament rises for the year -- likely the end of this week.

On November 8, Mazibuko gave notice in the Assembly of a motion of no confidence in Zuma.

The motion was brought on the grounds "that under his leadership the justice system has been politicised and weakened; corruption has spiralled out of control; unemployment continues to increase, the economy is weakening, and the right of access to quality education has been violated".

The motion was "mandated" by eight opposition parties, including the African Christian Democratic Party, the Azanian People's Organisation, Congress of the People, Freedom Front Plus, Inkatha Freedom Party, the United Christian Democratic Party, and the United Democratic Movement.

Last week, the ANC blocked the opposition's attempt to have the motion placed on the order paper and debated in the Assembly.

After the African National Congress's parliamentary caucus met on Wednesday to discuss the proposed motion, ANC Chief Whip Mathole Motshekga said there was "unanimous agreement that this is a frivolous motion", which had nothing to do with those sections of the Constitution dealing with the removal of the president from office.

"The motion of the opposition about the alleged violation of the Constitution by President [Jacob] G Zuma is without foundation and cannot be supported by fact," he said.

It would be a complete travesty and an unsustainable precedent to allow a frivolous motion, which was based solely on spurious allegations rather than facts, to be afforded the dignity of consideration and debate by Parliament.

"The motion by these opposition parties, which they know as anyone else its chances of success are zero, seeks to try the president in a court of public opinion and tarnish his image and that of the ANC in the media.

"Caucus has therefore unanimously decided to oppose the programming of this motion on the order paper of the National Assembly," Motshekga said.

Sapa




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