A conflict of interest for Mbete?
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?