Speaker Baleka Mbete must reconvene Parliament immediately to debate a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma following S&P Global’s decision to downgrade South Africa’s credit rating to junk status, the Democratic Alliance said on Tuesday.
“Yesterday’s decision by Standard and Poors Global Ratings Services to downgrade South Africa’s sovereign credit rating to ‘junk status’ only emphasises the need for the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, to reconvene Parliament immediately,” DA chief whip John Steenhuisen said.
“President Jacob Zuma’s midnight Cabinet cull has precipitated a crisis, and S&P has responded with a resounding vote of no confidence in the president and his new Cabinet of lackeys.
“Other ratings agencies are sure to follow suit.”
Steenhuisen said Parliament had a constitutional duty to scrutinise and oversee executive decisions.
“It is therefore incumbent on Mbete to call an urgent sitting of the House to debate the Motion of No Confidence proposed by the DA on March 30. It is inconceivable that in a time of national crisis the lights remain off in the People’s Parliament.”
Steenhuisen said Mbete undertook on Sunday to consult with Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu on the opposition’s call for her to recall Parliament from its Easter recess to debate the motion.
It was proposed by the DA last week, and has been backed by other opposition parties.
“Mbete committed to consulting with the Leader of Government Business and the Chief Whip on 2 April, and has surely done so by now. All that remains is for her to schedule a sitting,” Steenhuisen said.