There was high drama in the National Assembly yesterday when deputy speaker Nomaindia Mfeketo asked the serjeant-at-arms to escort Lekota out of the chamber after he repeatedly ignored her instruction that he vacate the house because he was not willing to withdraw his statement.
Lekota told the National Assembly last week that it should institute impeachment proceedings against Zuma because he was refusing to comply with a ruling of the Supreme Court of Appeal – which instructed him and the national directorate of public prosecutions – to hand over spy tapes that were used to drop corruption charges against Zuma to the Democratic Alliance.
ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga objected to Lekota’s statement, which prompted Mfeketo to postpone ruling on the matter to yesterday.
At the beginning of yesterday’s proceedings, Mfeketo ruled Lekota’s statement was out of line and instructed him to withdraw.
But Lekota stuck to the his guns and refused to take back his statement, arguing that he could not do so because that would have implications on a court case he had brought against Parliament and Mfeketo after she expelled him from the house in July this year for claiming that Zuma had breached his oath of office by remaining silent during the furore over The Spear painting.
Lekota ignored numerous instructions from Mfeketo for him to withdraw his statement and stuck to his seat when he was asked to leave the house.
“No Madam Speaker, that would be tantamount to asking me to withdraw the case that I have brought against your ruling in the courts. I am not doing it. I cannot do it,” Lekota said.
When IFP chief whip Koos van der Merwe tried to intervene by asking Mfeketo to postpone Lekota’s ejection until after his court case, Mfeketo flatly refused.
Lekota only left the National Assembly when Mfeketo asked the serjeant-at-arms to marshal him out of the house.
Cope MPs followed him in solidarity.
Shortly after the drama, Motshekga tabled notice of a motion requesting Parliament to censure Lekota for “misleading Parliament”.
“By claiming in the House that the president has defied a lawful judicial order, Lekota has lied to Parliament.”