DA declines to table no-confidence motion in Ramaphosa while it waits out section 89 process

Andisiwe Makinana Political correspondent
President Cyril Ramaphosa and DA leader John Steenhuisen. File image
President Cyril Ramaphosa and DA leader John Steenhuisen. File image
Image: Esa Alexander/Reuters

The DA will not table a motion of no confidence in President Cyril Ramaphosa while the section 89 impeachment process continues.

DA leader John Steenhuisen told opposition parties on Monday his party did not believe doing so was the best course of action.

He noted, through the media, that opposition parties resolved the DA should move a motion of no confidence in terms of the constitution by Tuesday.

“First, it is our understanding that the rule of anticipation would apply as the matter is similar in substance to the section 89 process already under way,” said Steenhuisen in a letter to leaders of opposition parties.

“We believe the speaker of the National Assembly [Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula] would be within her rights to deny such a request until such time the section 89 process on the order paper has been disposed of.”

Such a motion would come across as a desperate “calling all pockets” approach rather than a considered and careful strategy.

“Given the febrile nature of the situation in the country, we believe matters need to be handled with a scalpel rather than a club. At all times we must endeavour to act in the best interests of the country rather than risk the perception of a feeding frenzy of political opportunism.”

Steenhuisen said the DA was committed to holding Ramaphosa accountable and its MPs will vote in favour of the section 89 independent panel report proceeding to the next step as set out in the rules of the assembly.

“We believe this will give greater scope for the investigation and will allow a deeper interrogation of the matters relating to what really happened at Phala Phala. This will also give us, as members, an opportunity to satisfy ourselves in relation to the contents of the report,” he said.

The Forum of Opposition Political Parties, which comprises 11 parties represented in the assembly announced that in addition to the section 89 impeachment process they will request the DA, the official opposition, to table a motion of no confidence in Ramaphosa on the basis of prima facie evidence that he may have committed serious violations of the constitution and laws of the republic.

If the DA is unable to table the motion, the EFF would do so before Tuesday’s sitting of the assembly to debate and vote on the report.

The forum said it will also table a proposal to Mapisa-Nqakula and the National Assembly programming committee to extend parliament’s schedule to accommodate the section 89 process, saying it cannot be delayed further.


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