The Democratic Alliance has bemoaned the state of the National Assembly under the leadership of speaker Mbete Baleka. The party asserted that it is crystal clear that the reputation of parliament has crashed woefully under the nose of the speaker.
The opposition party maintained that the glory of the honourable assembly will only be restored if Mbete resigns. The party also took a swipe at the speaker, describing her press briefing as “a waste of Parliament and the public’s time”.
Speaking on Sunday, DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen said Speaker Mbete spoke around the fact that the National Assembly had breached its own obligations to the Constitution by facilitating the enforcement of the public protector’s recommendations instead of apologizing to South Africans.
Steenhuisen said, “Parliament has battled biased rulings and crept from constitutional crisis to crisis during her tenure. Parliament’s reputation could not be restored under her leadership and she has to be held accountable for her and Parliament’s complicity in the Nkandla matter.”
The opposition party’s chief whip then called for Mbete’s resignation for failing to apologize and to save parliament from further destruction
We will recall that earlier on Sunday, Speaker Mbete told reporters that there was no need for the National Assembly to apologize regarding the court’s findings because it had acted maliciously.
She said, “There is no ConCourt [judgment] that said we violated [the Constitution]. Some things were inconsistent. There is a difference between saying a particular action was inconsistent with the Constitution… It’s different to saying you went out knowingly and violated the Constitution.
I don’t think Parliament or the National Assembly is in a position where our understanding is that we have done something maliciously for which we have to apologize.”
The speaker said she will not resign, that parliament appreciated the clarity provided by the ConCourt findings‚ particularly with regards to Chapter 9 institutions. Mbete concurred that the Concourt judgment made sound‚ balanced and critical findings and that parliament would use the judgment to guide Parliament in future. She also enjoined all parties to collectively reflect on the judgment.
Meanwhile, reactions have trailed ConCourt ruling and Zuma’s subsequent apology. But many of his rivals and critics still believe that Zuma’s apology has little or no significance.
Speaking on the matter, Professor Sipho Seepe asserted that Zuma’s apology was a strategic move by the ANC.
He said, “It doesn’t matter how much you try to spin this one, the damage is done and it has been done in a very profound way. And I’d even go further and say I wonder if it is the ANC that can save itself from itself.”
On the other hand, the FW de Klerk Foundation believes Zuma’s apology is not enough and that he shouldn’t only have to pay back what they call a “mere” portion of the R246 million in state funds spent on renovations at Nkandla.