The meeting with the Deputy President and the Leaders of political parties represented in the National Assembly sought to establish a forum with a mandate to ensure that the Rules of Parliament are followed and that President Jacob Zuma accounts to Parliament at least once per term, as per the constitution.
The Deputy President offered nothing more than what the President, Cabinet and the Speaker are already legally obliged to do.
It is no concession to commit to coming to Parliament to answer questions – the President is required to do that. And it is no concession for the Speaker to agree to apply the Rules of Parliament fairly – she is obliged to do that.
The Motion of Censure, by the Leader of the Opposition, against President Zuma is absolutely in the spirit of ensuring that Parliament works and that the President accounts to the House, which elected him.
There was absolutely no agreement made with party leaders and the Deputy President to withdraw our motion.
In fact, we explicitly agreed with the Chief Whip of the ANC that we will proceed with the motion. He asked for 24 hours delay, so that he could have the chance to explain developments to his caucus.
We agreed to this request in the spirit of the meeting with the Deputy President. But we have never and will never agree to shelve the motion – because this would mean that the President receives no rebuke for failing to attend his questions sessions.
Our Parliamentary Leader, Mmusi Maimane, will continue to spearhead our fight to ensure that Parliament works and that President Zuma and the Executive are held accountable for their actions and inactions.
Tags: Motion of Censure