Lekota told to leave National Assembly

Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota was kicked out of Parliament for refusing to take back comments he made about the president. (Gallo)

Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota was kicked out of Parliament for refusing to take back comments he made about the president. (Gallo)

This related to a statement he made a week ago in the House, calling for Zuma to be "impeached".

Among other things, he said Zuma's office had, on October 19, "defied an order, by the Supreme Court of Appeal, to hand over the abbreviated transcripts of the tapes that permitted criminal charges to be dropped or withdrawn against himself".

He was referring to the refusal to release transcripts of the secret recordings which were the basis of the decision to drop corruption, fraud, and racketeering charges against Zuma in early 2009.

The Congress of the People (Cope) leader said Zuma was bound by his oath of office to obey, respect and uphold the Constitution.

"As his office and his lawyers act daily under his direct authority, the inescapable conclusion is that the president is illegally refusing to be bound by ... the Constitution, which binds all persons to obey a judicial order, and there are no exceptions," he said at the time.

On Tuesday, deputy speaker Nomaindia Mfeketo said Lekota should have brought his allegations to the Assembly by way of a substantive motion, and ruled his statements "unparliamentary".

She asked him to withdraw the statements. Lekota refused, saying the issue was sub-judice and he could not pre-empt a pending court ruling.

Walk-out
Following a number of ensuing points of order and repeated requests by Mfeketo for him to leave the chamber, he and most other Cope MPs eventually walked out.

Giving notice of a motion soon afterwards, ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga asked for Lekota to be sanctioned for "misleading Parliament".

The Supreme Court of Appeal had "issued no such order against the president or the president's office", he said.

In terms of the appeal court's judgment, the judicial order was directed at the National Prosecuting Authority.

"There was no order by the Supreme Court of Appeal against the president or his office to produce any record or documents," Motshekga said.

"By claiming in the House that the president has defied a lawful judicial order, Lekota has lied to Parliament, which is a serious transgression in terms of the practices, precedents, and conventions governing the business of the House."

Lekota should thus be sanctioned for knowingly presenting false information before Parliament, he said.
– Sapa

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