South African President Jacob Zuma

South African President Jacob Zuma

PRETORIA (ANA) – A motion of impeachment against President Jacob Zuma for giving Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir free passage from South Africa will be debated in Parliament on September 1.

The debate was scheduled by the National Assembly’s programming committee on Thursday after Speaker Baleka Mbete initially blocked the Democratic Alliance’s motion from which it stems.

This prompted an exchange of lawyers’ letters between her office and the official opposition.

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen said his party was vindicated and brought a step closer to holding Zuma accountable for violating the law and the Constitution by defying a high court order in June not to allow al-Bashir to leave the country.

“Al-Bashir’s state-aided escape represents a clear violation of President Zuma’s oath to ‘obey, observe, uphold and maintain the Constitution and all other laws of the Republic,’ and serve as nothing less than grounds for his removal from office in terms of section 89(1)(a) of the Constitution.”

Such a motion requires the support of a third of MPs to succeed.

Steenhuisen said the DA would canvass all political parties for support.

ANC chief whip Stone Sizani’s office said he would comment later in the day.