The Subcommittee on the review of National Assembly rules met today to discuss the formulation of rules to regulate the removal of a sitting President.
This relates to Section 89 of the Constitution. The Subcommittee Chairperson, Mr. Richard Mdakane, said although this had been the subject of the recent Constitutional Court judgement, the Subcommittee has for some time been in the process of amending the rules of the National Assembly. Mr. Mdakane said that although the Constitution provides for the removal of a sitting President, it does not set out the procedures of how that should be done and the Constitutional Court has tasked Parliament to “without delay” craft the rules of how such removal should occur.
The common thread in the Subcommittee meeting was for the term “serious offence” as prescribed by Section 89 of the Constitution to be defined in the new rules of the Assembly as it could mean different things to different people.
The Subcommittee also spent some time debating the format that the body should take that recommends impeachment procedures. The Subcommittee resolved for a proposal to be drafted on the possible way forward on the mechanism for impeachment. This includes the various options raised by MPs. The options included, a panel of judges to deliberate on the removal of a sitting President, a body comprising of a combination of legal experts and MPs and the last one was a Committee of Parliament constituted in a similar fashion like the Subcommittee on the Review of National Assembly rules.
The Subcommittee expects to have a draft rules ready in two weeks’ time and aims to conclude with the final document by the middle of next month (February) which will be sent to the Rules Committee of the National Assembly for adoption.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.