African National Congress (ANC) Chief Whip in Parliament Jackson Mthembu says political parties cannot prescribe to the National Assembly Speaker, Baleka Mbete, how she should consider requests on scheduling motions for debate.

Mthembu said this at the National Assembly’s Programme Committee meeting.

His remarks come after Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) whip Veronica Mente insisted that the EFF wanted the debating of the motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma before the State of the Nation Address (SONA).

“We can make a request to the office of the Speaker. What we can’t do is to tell the Speaker how to entertain that request. Which indeed the Speaker is attending and indeed we can also give reasons why we want a vote of no confidence. The Speaker is considering that. The Speaker has consulted with the Chief Whip of the majority party and indeed there is a date that is being toyed about. And indeed we believe that the Speaker will respond in due course to the party that has requested this vote of no confidence,” says Mthembu.

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