Mantashe: ANC did not refuse motion

Johannesburg - The ANC in Parliament has not refused to discuss a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma, party Secretary General Gwede Mantashe said on Friday.

“The question we are dealing with here is not refusal, but a programming issue.”

The party's decision was that there was no urgency in the matter, Mantashe told reporters in Johannesburg.

At a meeting the past weekend, the national executive committee (NEC) of the African National Congress agreed with this view.

Mantashe criticised opposition parties for their plans to take the matter to court, saying they were seeking to reduce Parliament to a subsidiary of the judiciary.

“By taking a purely parliamentary programming matter to court, the opposition is... impeding the legislative independence of Parliament,” Mantashe said.

The Democratic Alliance launched an application for an interdict on the matter in the Western Cape High Court on Friday on behalf of eight opposition parties in Parliament.

It seeks an order compelling Parliament to hold a debate on a vote of no confidence in Zuma before Parliament rises for the year.

The matter is to be heard on Tuesday. - Sapa