A con­flict of in­ter­est for Mbete?

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

ECUSE” is not a word com­monly heard in lo­cal po­lit­i­cal dis­course, so its mean­ing is gen­er­ally un­fa­mil­iar.

It means to with­draw vol­un­tar­ily from a po­si­tion of au­thor­ity or de­ci­sion-mak­ing on the grounds of hav­ing a vested in­ter­est in a mat­ter.

“I am elected by the Na­tional Assem­bly to per­form the role of Speaker and as long as that has not changed, I will not re­cuse my­self.”

The speaker was the Speaker of Par­lia­ment, also the chair­per­son of the ANC, since 2007. This unique union of pow­ers has gen­er­ated much crit­i­cism.

One of the du­ties of the Speaker is to pre­side over de­bates in an im­par­tial man­ner, re­spect­ing the di­ver­sity of opin­ions and views.

How­ever, in her state­ment on the se­cret bal­lot, she com­mented: “I there­fore find the pub­lic pro­nounce­ments and calls that the Speaker will act in a par­ti­san man­ner rep­re­hen­si­ble and un­palat­able.”

Would her pre­de­ces­sor, Max Sisulu have been so down­right and con­demn­ing? Or would he have re­garded it as le­git­i­mate free speech?

When the Speaker was elected, she said she was hum­bled by the ap­point­ment, con­tin­u­ing with­out irony: “Your trust in me has not been mis­placed.”

Was she speak­ing to the na­tion or the party?

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.