The battle for the soul of South Africa is becoming intense and the gladiators are fidgeting uncontrollably.Responding to the EFF’s bid to force her and the National Assembly to take action against President Jacob Zuma’s violation of the constitution, the ANC chairwoman said it was not the country’s highest court’s job to “babysit” parliament.
“It is not for this court to micro-manage or babysit the National Assembly, nor is it the function of this court to dispense advice to the National Assembly or its members as the applicants would wish it to do,” read Mbete’s written submissions to the ConCourt.
The EFF, UDM and Cope have asked the ConCourt to order Mbete to take action against Zuma for violating his oath of office following the court’s scathing Nkandla judgment last year.
ConCourt found that Zuma had failed to comply with ex-public protector Thuli Madonsela’s remedial action and that the millions spent on Nkandla were unlawful and inconsistent with the constitution.
Mbete denies that she and parliament acted in bad faith by not holding Zuma accountable for the millions of rands spent on his homestead.
According to Mbete, Zuma has faced 27 questions in parliament relating to the Nkandla scandal. She described the opposition parties’ arguments as “specious and self-serving”.
“This application is predicated upon and arises out of the failure by the applicants to secure the two-thirds majority prescribed in section 89 of the constitution after the National Assembly had invoked the ‘terminal consequence or supreme accountability tool’ of impeachment,” read Mbete’s submissions.
The opposition parties want the ConCourt to declare that Mbete failed to put appropriate mechanisms and processes in place to hold Zuma accountable for violating the constitution.
The EFF, UDM and Cope want Mbete to convene a parliamentary committee or any other independent mechanism to investigate Zuma’s conduct and failures relating to Madonsela’s report. The matter will be heard in September.