There are no exceptional circumstances warranting the United Democratic Movement direct access to the Constitutional Court, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete believes.

Furthermore, the UDM had not exhausted other alternatives before approaching the court with an application for a secret ballot in the motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma, she said in an affidavit filed on Thursday.

The application had no merit and it did not fall within the court’s exclusive jurisdiction, she said.

On Wednesday, the court allowed the UDM direct access to argue its case. It gave parties wishing to oppose the UDM’s application until 12:00 on Thursday to file papers, and the UDM until 16:00 next Wednesday to file its reply.

 “It is calculated to embroil this court in political controversy in a matter that involved a violation of the principle of separation of powers and it is grounded on the assumption that the members of the NA‚ particularly the African National Congress‚ are weak-kneed‚ timid‚ cowardly‚ unprincipled and spineless persons‚ which assumption I am not prepared to make,” Mbete said.