United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa. Picture: ARNOLD PRONTO
United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa. Picture: ARNOLD PRONTO

The DA’s motion to dissolve the National Assembly has been rejected by opposition parties including the EFF.

They have roundly criticised the move as opportunistic.

ANC MPs are also unlikely to support the motion, which requires a simple majority of Parliament’s 400 MPs to back it in order to pass. The ANC has 249 seats in Parliament.

The DA, which has 89 seats in Parliament, on Thursday submitted the motion in terms of section 50(1) of the Constitution.

The dissolution of Parliament would necessitate an election.

President Jacob Zuma narrowly survived a no-confidence vote on Tuesday, which was conducted through secret ballot. More than 30 ANC MPs may have voted for the motion.

“The DA believes that his [Zuma’s] presidency is no longer supported by the majority of South Africans and thus, with the ANC having failed to remove him on Tuesday, South Africans need to be given the opportunity to make their voices heard at the polls,” DA chief whip John Steenhuisen said on Thursday.

The DA would push to have the motion moved above the line and debated as soon as possible, said Steenhuisen.

EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu said the DA was “being opportunistic”. The EFF has 25 seats, making it the third-largest party in Parliament.

The United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa and the Freedom Front Plus indicated that they would not back the DA motion.

The Congress of the People also said it would not support the DA’s motion.

“We will not support this motion … it is opportunistic. We will argue that there is a quicker way to dissolve Parliament — if all opposition MPs resign, then Parliament will have to be dissolved … if they [DA] are serious, let them resign,” said Shivambu.

He believed Parliament could be dissolved if 51 members resigned from the legislature.

Shivambu referred to section 46 of the Constitution, which stated the National Assembly needed to consist of no fewer than 350 members and no more than 400 MPs. The EFF was prepared to approach the Constitutional Court should Parliament continue to operate in the event that all opposition MPs resigned, said Shivambu.

phakathib@businesslive.co.za

 

Please sign in or register to comment.