CAPE TOWN, The rules sub-committee of the South African Parliament is moving with speed to finalise the rules which will guide an impeachment of President Jacob Zuma, following a ruling from the Constitutional Court which directed Parliament to implement these rules without delay.

The lawmakers sitting on the sub-committee have cut short their holidays to finalise the impeachment rules and the draft rules are now expected to be finalized by next Friday. Among the challenges is how to prevent political considerations from over-riding factual findings of violations of the national Constitution by a sitting President.

A lawmaker from the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, says:If we can vote that there must not be an impeachment process, then we are no longer within the regime of the Section 89. So we ought to say what kind of a process allows the impeachment to happen, that is for it to be referred for the impeachment process to happen, without it being blocked by politics.

Other political parties want clarity on the violations which are impeachable, as well as the role of the Speaker in processing motions of impeachment.

Chief Whip John Steenhuisen of the Democratic Alliance (DA), the main opposition party, says: What ur common understanding, as the rules sub-committee, is that the rules committee, and Parliament ultimately, is what is a serious violation; otherwise we going to end up with skirmishes a whole way down the process.

The Secretary to the National Assembly (lower house of Parliament), Masibulele Xaso, says: We have to grapple with the vetting process. So when a member tables the motion, who vets the motion, to ensure that it complies with these rules.

At least one member of Parliament from the ruling African National Congress )ANC) says this is a process that will restore the dignity of the President.

The Committee has now resolved to probe three options to undertake the impeachment process. These include a Panel of Judges or an ad hoc committee of lawmakers or a combination of both.

Meanwhile, the EFF says it wants the rules to be adopted next month and an impeachment motion tabled against President Jacob Zuma in March.


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