02/02/2018 07:15 SAST | Updated 02/02/2018 07:16 SAST

Impeachment Rules To Be Decided After Sona

Political parties will spend the next two weeks deliberating proposals for the impeachment of a sitting president.

President Jacob Zuma.
Photo by Lulama Zenzile/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images
President Jacob Zuma.

Political parties in Parliament will spend the next two weeks looking into proposals on how to impeach a sitting president, after a joint committee spent the last two weeks debating proposals , News24 reported. But a decision on how to proceed will only take place after President Jacob Zuma delivers his State of the Nation Address in February.

A subcommittee of the joint committee has spent the last few weeks debating various proposals for impeachment. The two options now being considered at reportedly, a "hybrid" committee of MPs assisted by legal experts that would decide on whether to impeach a president, or a panel of five judges.

Most parties reportedly favour the first option.

According to Eyewitness News (EWN), the DA and ACDP wanted Sona to be postponed until after a new president is in place. The Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete reportedly rejected a request by the EFF to have a motion of no confidence in Zuma debated before Sona.

At a briefing on Thursday, National Council of Chairpersons Thandi Modise reportedly said, "Whoever is president will address Sona, that's all we know."

According to News24, when deliberating rules for impeachment, the ANC, IFP and DA said they were unhappy with the idea of outsourcing Parliament's role in removing a president to an outside panel. But the EFF thinks outsiders are best placed to deal with the facts impartially when considering the issue.

The Constitutional Court previously ruled that when Parliament considers whether or not to impeach a president, the decision should not be subject to arbitrary rejection by the majority party. The ANC reportedly wants any committee that considers impeachment to have proportional representation, but opposition parties say this would fly in the face of the Constitutional Court's ruling.

The finalisation of the rules for impeachment is likely to be finished by the end of March, according to TimesLive. Earlier this month, the subcommittee's chair, Richard Mdakane, reportedly ended deliberations to allow parties to draft proposals.