National Speaker Baleka Mbete now faces the possibility of going down with the president after the crucial impeachment debate proposed by opposition parties.
According to EFF leader Julius Malema, Speaker Baleka Mbete will be pulled to court over her refusal to rescue herself from the debate on the removal of President Jacob Zuma from office.
The defiant opposition further bashed Mbete saying, “You shall receive court papers. You are conflicted… You are going to lose with costs, and you are costing Parliament a lot of money.”
During the crucial sitting on Tuesday, Mbete earlier put the National Assembly sitting on hold for 10 minutes, in order to have a word with chief whips on whether she should remove herself from the proceedings. However, the break lasted over an hour.
Her decision to either rescue herself from the debate was prompted by opposition MPs, who called on the National speaker to do before the debate kicked off. The opposition MPs stated that Mbete must rescue herself because she had been a respondent in the Constitutional Court case against Zuma.
The heated call for Mbete’s rescue was initiated by EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu. The MP said, “You must recuse yourself as the presiding officer today because the Constitution has found against you in terms of the court case the EFF took to the Constitutional Court that you have violated the Constitution, that you have disregarded the laws of this Parliament and you are still sitting there.”
“You don’t deserve to be in that seat….,” the defiant MP added.
To worsen Mbete’s nightmare, DA chief whip John Steenhuisen supported the call by the EFF, saying Mbete was the first respondent in the Constitutional Court case and therefore “a party to the crime that took place”.
Steenhuisen said, “I would ask you madam speaker in the interests of restoring the credibility of this Parliament that you make the decision to invoke rule 15 and ask the deputy speaker to preside over the debate today.”
In fact, it was a war of words among the honourable MPs. EFF leader Julius Malema seized the opportunity to criticize ANC MPs, calling them “bloody voting cattles”. He also taunted Baleka Mbete to fury, telling her “You are not qualified to tell me to sit down, you are sitting there illegally,” Malema said.
The opposition leader thereafter called on the ANC MPs to vote to remove Zuma, and told them it was better to stand alone and for the truth. He urged them to listen to the various calls by veterans to remove Zuma from office.
“We need another Ben Turok to vote against the mob. Stop thinking for your stomach, vote with your brains. We want to see Mr Ramaphosa, Minister Pravin, Minister Jonas, the darling of anti-corruption if you are going to vote for this corruption against the constitution,” Julius Malema added.