- Parliament’s National Assembly Rules Committee has agreed on rules and procedures around Section 89 of the Constitution
- Section 89 of the Constitution deals with the removal of siting president of the country
- The committee unanimously agreed to the new rules and has suggested that the National Assembly adopts the new rules
Parliament’s National Assembly Rules Committee has agreed on a set of rules and procedures which deals with Section 89 of the Constitution. The section deals with the ousting of a sitting president of the Republic of South Africa.
The new rules will require the Speaker of the National Assembly to submit any impeachment motion tabled to an independent panel of three legal experts. The panel will rule on whether the motion has any legal merit and whether there is enough evidence for Parliament to start full impeachment proceedings.
The panel will be given a mandate to act independently and must act in an impartial manner at all times. The Speaker will be responsible for appointing legal experts to serve on the panel but he or she has to complete a full consultation with all the political parties which are represented in Parliament.
Briefly.co.za gathered that the panel must complete its work within 30 days of receiving a motion and will have to present a full report on its findings to the National Assembly.
The National Assembly will then decide whether to proceed or not. If the matter goes further it will be referred to an Impeachment Committee. The committee will investigate the allegations against the president and will compile a report.
Businesstech.co.za reported that if this report recommends that the president is removed the matter will be put to a vote in the National Assembly where a two-thirds majority will be needed to remove the president.
Although the word impeachment is never mention in the South African Constitution the process of removing a sitting president is often referred to by that term.
News24.com reported that the Committee unanimously accepted the new rules and will now recommend that the rules are adopted by the National Assembly.
The new rules are as a result of the Constitutional Court’s ruling in 2017 which compelled Parliament to clarify and institute rules to guide impeachment proceedings.
Section 89 allows Parliament to implement impeachment proceedings against a sitting president if he/she has committed a serious violation of the Constitution or laws of South Africa, if he/she has been involved in an act of serious misconduct or if the president is unable to perform the duties of the office.
If a sitting president is removed through either of the first two cases he/she will lose all of their presidential benefits including pension and that person will not be permitted to serve in any public office.
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