President Jacob Zuma File picture: Karen Sandison/ANA
Cape Town - Parliament is pushing through a new rule that would force the impeachment of the president for breaching his oath of office or the constitution.

On Thursday, all parties in the National Assembly agreed on a proposal to set up either a committee of MPs with judges and an evidence leader, or a panel of retired judges to impeach President Jacob Zuma, who has been under fire in recent months with mounting calls for him to step down.

Even the newly elected ANC National Executive Committee agreed at its meeting last week that Zuma must go.

Parties in Parliament want Zuma to be impeached for violating his oath of office.

Earlier, the EFF pushed for a panel of five judges to drive the impeachment process.

However, most of the parties were amenable to the idea of a hybrid model that includes MPs and judges.

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The sub-committee on rules agreed that the two proposals be taken to the rules committees next week.

Chairperson Richard Mdakane said the proposals would be finalised today.

In the discussions the DA pushed for either a panel of judges or a hybrid model.

The party's Natasha Mazzone said it must be taken into account that the issue of using the majority in Parliament could scupper the whole process. She said the DA favoured the use of experts because MPs were politicians and emotions could take over.

Mazzone said the Eskom inquiry in Parliament showed that MPs could work together without fear of the majority.

“We cannot live in the fear of majoritarianism. My ANC colleagues, do not think I am insulting you. I say this because I come from a minority party.

"When we have an external panel it creates checks and balances,” said Mazzone.

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Juli Kilian of the ANC first proposed that a permanent structure be set up to look at the impeachment proceedings.

However, she warned against the use of judges and at the exclusion of MPs. She said MPs would be abdicating their responsibility if they were not involved in the process.

“I don’t know why everyone is vilifying the concept of majoritarianism, that is the nature of democracy.

"We would like to see a structure that is proportionally (representative).

"Why are we shying away from the big bad wolf of majoritarianism, here we have a threshold of two-thirds. Even the ANC cannot decide on its own,” she said.

The EFF's Mbuyiseni Ndlozi warned that parties must not steer away from the judgment of the Constitutional Court on the matter.

Political Bureau