Baleka Mbete’s over protective measures towards President Jacob Zuma and his cronies have been highly criticised as being detrimental to the nation’s democracy.
Mbete has been severely attacked for her moves to defend the presidency especially when crucial questions pertaining the political and economic state of the nation is brought up.
Not minding people’s antagonism, Mbete yet again defended the President when she reportedly turned down a request by oppositions, for a debate over the state of the nation’s economy.
According to reports from the Parliament, the Speaker denied Maynier his requests even after he made it clear that the debate is well within the realm of national importance as Zuma and his cabal have systematically chipped away at the country’s economy.
Maynier’s request comes at the time when South Africans are demanding answers on the nation’s deteriorating economy.
“The reason my request for a ‘snap debate’ on measures to deal with the economic crisis was refused is absurd. Baleka Mbete believes ‘the matter can be considered by some other means in the near future’,” Maynier said
He was further quoted as saying that Mbete “knows there is absolutely no prospect of this matter being dealt with by other means in the near future and is simply protecting President Jacob Zuma and Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba from a tough debate on measures to deal with the economic crisis.”
South Africans would see much of Mbete defending the president especially as the constitutional court has finally cleared the air on whether she has the right to decide whether or not the House would use secret balloting to vote during the motion of no confidence in Zuma.
Mbete had earlier denied opposition’s demand for a secret ballot to be used in voting for the no-confidence motion, saying there were no provisions in the law that allow that.
In her submissions against the secret balloting, Mbete argued that the Constitution does prescribe a particular procedure for a motion of no confidence in the President in terms of section 102(2) of the Constitution. Such a motion is conducted in terms of Rule 129 read with Rules 102 to 104.
“None of the said Rules compels voting by secret ballot,” Mbete’s submission stated.
“If the Court finds that the Rules are unconstitutional, unlawful and invalid and that the First Respondent has the power to consider and order a motion of no confidence involving a secret ballot procedure, the matter must be referred to the First Respondent for reconsideration.”
The opposition party, the DA had also raised an alarm over Mbete’s Protection of Zuma and his cabinet. In April this year, the DA leader, Mmusi Maimane said that Mbete had her trip to Bangladesh cut short just so she would protect Zuma from opposition efforts to have him ousted.
The DA leader was commenting on a media briefing Mbete held at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg a short while earlier, where she said she had flown back to deal with opposition requests for a motion of no confidence in Zuma to be debated in the Assembly and would in coming days consult and give “appropriate consideration” to the requests.
“What she is asking for is instructions and direction from Jacob Zuma,” Maimane told journalists in Cape Town,” said the DA leader.
He added that it was time for South Africans of all persuasions to join hands to force Zuma out of office, but noted that the campaign should not only be directed at the president but at his allies in the party as well.