MPs will only vote next week on the Section 89 independent panel recommendation that President Cyril Ramaphosa has a case to answer for possible impeachment over serious violations of the Constitution, according to a unanimous decision of the programming committee on Monday night.
It was a late-night special sitting of that committee that endorsed the one-week delay after days of political and constitutional drama — and just hours after President Cyril Ramaphosa filed his court papers challenging the Section 89 recommendation and the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) made a decision to vote it down in the House.
Moving the parliamentary debate and vote to 13 December seemed the trade-off for the opposition’s calls for a physical meeting with a manual roll call vote where every MP’s decision is recorded.
The call for a roll call process came from the DA in a move to hold individual MPs accountable. The call for a physical sitting came from the EFF for similar reasons.
While Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula on Monday night indicated she had been disinclined to approve both calls, the special National Assembly programming committee took a different turn.
Parliament, as a multiparty institution of elected public representatives, was autonomous and…