National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete says the Joint Programming Committee, which held an urgent meeting on Wednesday afternoon, has agreed to hold a debate on the Motion of No Confidence on President Jacob Zuma on Thursday.
Briefing journalists after the meeting, the Speaker said the Joint Programming Committee would also meet again on Thursday morning to discuss the logistics of the swearing in of the new President on Friday morning before delivering the State of the Nation Address in the evening of the same day.
The debate on the Motion of No Confidence, should President Zuma not resign on Wednesday night, is scheduled to take place at 14:00 on Thursday.
“We are here to confirm that we were just waiting for this meeting [Joint Programming Committee] to happen and take this firm decision.
“A second part of the process is that we have agreed that tomorrow morning at 08:30, the Joint Programming Committee will meet and create Friday’s activities in relation to the need for us to look at replacing the head of State,” Mbete said.
This comes after the ANC Parliamentary caucus announced that it would initiate the processes of removing President Jacob Zuma through amending an Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) motion of no confidence, should the President not resign by Wednesday.
During Wednesday’s Joint Programming Committee, it was emphasised that the swearing in of the new President on Friday would also depend on the availability of the Chief Justice to preside over the ceremony.
Mbete said the logistics of holding SONA on Friday remained on track.
“[Holding SONA on Friday] creates a possibility for us to catch up with the programme. We have lost time in the past week… We would be able to have a debate on Monday and reduce it to one day instead of two days and enable the new President to respond to the debate on Tuesday and keep within our timeline in terms of the Budget Speech still being on the 21st on Wednesday next week,” said Mbete. – SAnews.gov.za