Concourt dismisses DA`s No Confidence Motion case

27 August 2013

The Constitutional Court today dismissed with costs the Motion of No Confidence case brought by the DA against the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Chief Whip of the ANC in Parliament.

Our victory in court today follows our two consecutive victories on the matter. On November 2012 the Western Cape High Court ruled that, in terms of the doctrine of separation of powers, the judiciary cannot interfere in the internal business of Parliament. On December 2012 eight Concourt judges ruled against the DA`s application to have the case urgently heard by the Concourt with a view to have the motion of no confidence urgently debated by the National Assembly.

We hold firmly to our view that this matter (disagreement amongst parties regarding programming matter) should not have been brought to Court, as in our view, it is a political dispute that can be resolved by parties within Parliament. The judiciary should not be placed in an uncomfortable position of interfering in internal affairs of an independent arm of the state, unless so directed by the Constitutuon. This view formed part of our arguments in court, and we are indeed vindicated that the case has been dismissed.

We welcome the Concourt`s direction that the rules of the National Assembly should be reviewed with a view to bring them in line with the constitutional rights of MPs to propose motions and provide for deadlock breaking mechanism. In fact, the process for the review of rules had already started long before the case was heard by the Western Cape High Court last year. We are confident that the process will be concluded before the date set by the Court.

We hope that this judgment will serve as a strong lesson to the DA that internal parliamentary matters should be left to parliament`s own determination, not the courts`. Parliament should not be controlled through the courts by those with deep pockets to bankroll their frivolous litigations.

Our victory in Concourt today is a victory for the rule of law and the doctrine of separation of powers.

Issued by the Office of the Chief Whip of the ANC

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