|Letter to the Speaker of Parliament, Baleka Mbete, regarding Parliamentary Procedures for removing a President from the UDM President (15 September 2008)|
We note - according to media reports - extensive speculation by senior members of the ANC that Parliament might decide the future of the President of the country. There is even talk of a vote of no confidence, based on Judge Nicholson's ruling this past Friday on the matter of Mr Jacob Zuma's prosecution.
While we understand that in your capacity as ANC Chairperson you have a right to address your party members, the media has inferred imminent parliamentary action against the President of the country based on the comments you and other ANC leaders have reportedly made.
If indeed such a possibility exists - of Parliamentary action against the President - we would like to know from the outset what the procedures will be. Please indicate, at your earliest convenience, the proposed parliamentary rules and intended process that will be followed.
It seems to me that if Parliament intends acting against the President it might need to appoint a body to determine what the Judge's inferences of political interference in prosecutorial decisions mean. Does it constitute a crisis? Or is a constitutional crisis being forced where none actually exists?
You will know that the ANC has repeatedly rejected in Parliament the proposal of a Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Arms Deal. We need to avoid falling into the trap of selective amnesia. Can we plunge the whole country into a new crisis by removing the President whilst there is still no clarity about the guilt or innocence of Mr Zuma, who is being touted as the next President?
What would it say of our country if we replaced a President in this manner? The judge did not make a ruling against the President as far as we know, indeed the President or members of the Executive were not respondents in the matter.
I can assure you that the UDM will not support a decision to oust a sitting President and his Executive on the basis of inferences by a Judge and without that President receiving a chance to answer the accusations.
Bantu Holomisa, MP