In August, the National Assembly agreed upon new conditions to oust a South African president after the Constitutional Court ordered that the committee finalise the decisions without delay.

This month, on Thursday, November 23, the National Assembly set out the new rules, which are correlated to Section 89 of the Constitution.

A president will be ousted from his or her seat if:

– he or she is in serious violation of the law or goes against the Constitution

– is found to be guilty of misconduct

– is unable to perform his or her duties in office

Any member of the National Assembly is able to initiate the procedures via a substantive motion – the process of removing a president, which is compliant with Section 89 of the Constitution.

Once the motion has been submitted, the speaker of the National Assembly will refer it, along with any other supportive evidence, to a panel of three legal experts.

The speaker will appoint the panel after conferring with the political parties represented in the Assembly, and will assess the evidence to ensure it is sufficient to proceed with a Section 89 inquiry.

Thereafter, the panel will have 30 days to perform its duties and conclude its deliberations. The House will then decide whether it will proceed with the inquiry or not.

If the matter does proceed further, an impeachment committee will establish how viable and serious the charges against the president are.

The impeachment committee will make a recommendation to the National Assembly, and present it with a report that must include all the views expressed in the House. Once the impeachment committee has reported its findings, the House will schedule a debate and decision at a sitting urgently.

If the report makes the recommendation that the president in question must be removed, a vote among Assembly members will be carried out.

The president will be removed if two-thirds of the members of Assembly support the recommendation.

Picture: People’s Assembly

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