ANC MPs revolt against Cyril

2014-11-23 05:00

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ANC parliamentarians this week revolted against Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s peace deal with opposition parties, saying he had stepped on Speaker Baleka Mbete’s turf.

The deal, which Ramaphosa struck with opposition parties on Tuesday, would have, among other things, seen the planned suspension of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MPs held in abeyance and a motion demanding President Jacob Zuma’s censure for avoiding Parliament held off.

The truce was initiated by Ramaphosa after last week’s chaotic scenes in Parliament, which saw riot police enter the National Assembly to evict an EFF parliamentarian.

But when ANC chief whip Stone Sizani presented the deal to the ANC parliamentary caucus on Wednesday morning, his colleagues objected.

Several MPs told City Press Sizani had a hard time selling Ramaphosa’s deal to his caucus.

They said MPs objected to the fact it was the deputy president and not the Speaker who had entered into the deal with the opposition.

City Press understands Mbete was also unhappy that she had not played a role in the structuring of the deal.

“It undermined the authority of the Speaker. In fact, it violated the Constitution. He [Ramaphosa] is a leader of government, but he’s interfering with an act of Parliament,” an MP said.

Another MP said the feeling in the caucus was that Ramaphosa “misunderstands his role as leader of government business” in Parliament.

ANC parliamentary sources said the hand of those who were opposed to Ramaphosa’s deal was strengthened by the fact that the DA reneged on its commitment to remove the motion of censure against Zuma.

DA parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane had faced his own revolt from caucus members who insisted the party proceed with a motion to censure President Zuma.

» Get your copy of City Press newspaper today for the full story.

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