As Parly meetings are bumped up, speculation abounds. Is Zuma going?

2018-02-13 12:29

Speculation is rife in Parliament corridors that the legislature is planning to remove President Jacob Zuma from office.

City Press has established that the chief whips’ forum, a weekly political meeting of political party whips which normally sits at 10am on Wednesdays has been bumped up to 8am tomorrow.

The governing ANC has called an urgent caucus meeting of all its MPs that will sit at 10am. The party’s caucus generally meets on Thursday mornings when Parliament is in session. So far, there is no scheduled sitting of the National Assembly since the postponement of the state of the nation address last week – which is a joint sitting of the two houses of Parliament.

The ANC caucus normally sits in preparation for a plenary session and it is where the party’s MPs are briefed about the party’s line – be it in relation to a subject of debate in the House or on how to vote, if there is voting taking place.

Another development is that all portfolio committee meetings that were scheduled to sit on Wednesday morning have been moved to 2pm.

Cedric Frolick, who is the National Assembly chairperson responsible for portfolio committees and oversight, gave an instruction to staff this morning that all 14 committee meetings that were scheduled to sit tomorrow morning be moved to the afternoon.

A letter to staff reads: “Please note that we have received a directive from the House chairperson, Hon Frolick, that meetings that are scheduled for the morning on February 14 2018 must be moved to the afternoon on the same day. This is due to a scheduled urgent meeting that will require the attendance of MPs. Teams supporting the 14 affected morning meetings on the Z-list are required to inform chairpersons and prepare the necessary memoranda to request permission to move meetings to the House chairperson, as per usual.”

City Press has also seen a memorandum from Frolick to committee chairpersons, instructing them to commence their meetings at 2pm “due to the political developments”.

Parliament’s spokesperson Moloto Mothapo told City Press that the meetings were being postponed because of the ANC caucus meeting.

DA’s chief whip John Steenhuisen said they had not been informed as to why meetings were postponed.

Andisiwe Makinana
Parliamentary journalist
City Press
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November 18 2018