Court dismisses DA application

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lindiwe mazibuko nov 23 INLSA Da parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko outside the High Court with Mangosuthu Buthelezi, left, and Mosiuoa Lekota, members of the opposition coalition. Picture: Jason Boud

Cape Town - The Western Cape High Court has dismissed an urgent application by the DA to force a parliamentary debate on a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.

In his ruling on Thursday, Judge Dennis Davis said there were gaps in the National Assembly rules, but found it was not for the court to dictate to Parliament. The DA said on Thursday night that it would appeal the ruling by taking it to the Constitutional Court.

ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga reacting in a statement to the court decision said he was pleased with the judgment.

“We are concerned with the growing tendency by some parties to abuse the judiciary, in which courts are called upon to resolve the inter-party disagreements which should be resolved within Parliament. It is irrational to expect courts to macromanage Parliament. The role of the courts is to ensure that institutions function within the boundaries of the constitution - a fact that these parties are clearly ignorant of,” he said.

Motshekga said his party was still of the firm view that the motion was “thick on generalised allegations and hogwash but thin on fact, which makes it frivolous and not worthy of urgent consideration by Parliament”.

He said the ANC would remain committed to robust, open and free multiparty debates and gave assurance the debate would take place during the week of February 26, 2013.

“We trust that Judge Davies’s judgment will send a strong message to these parties that courts cannot be abused to further narrow political ends. We also hope this will serve as a lesson on the doctrine of separation of powers and the rule of law,” Motshekga said.

The application was brought on Tuesday by DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko on behalf of eight opposition parties.

It sought to compel National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu to schedule the motion of no confidence debate before Parliament went into recess. Mazibuko officially gave notice of the motion in the Assembly on November 8.

She brought it on the grounds “that under his [Zuma’s] 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 decision came a day before an urgent interdict to debate the matter was to be heard in the Western Cape High Court.

Cape Argus

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