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MPs to meet about swearing in new President, holding SONA on Friday

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. –

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