‘Alex Mafia’ ruling prompts DA walkout

2010-12-08 15:19

The Democratic Alliance (DA) walked out of a sitting of the Gauteng provincial legislature today, in protest against a ruling in the house, a political advisor to the Speaker said.

The Speaker ruled against the use of “unparliamentary language” such as the words “mafias” or “Alex mafias”, a reference to Johannesburg’s Alexandra township, during debates, Mzi Khumalo said in a statement.

In many instances, the DA had used these terms to refer to various entities and members of the legislature.

“A case in point was the debate on Blue IQ.

DA member Gavin Lewis referred to Blue IQ as an agency used to hide the Alex mafia’s dodgy motorsports and schemes.”

He said Lewis was linking Blue IQ to a criminal organisation involved in international drug-dealing, racketeering, gambling, and prostitution.

According to its website, Blue IQ Investment Holdings “aims to deliver strategic economic infrastructure to catalyse sustainable economic growth”.

The Speaker ruled that no allegation of a defamatory or incriminatory nature could be made by any member against MECs, an organisation for which an MEC is responsible for, members or parties, unless a member could provide the Speaker with substantial factual evidence, together with prima facie proof of its authenticity.

Should such statements be made in the house in the future, the member would be required to withdraw them, and the utterances would be expunged from the legislature’s records.

Democratic Alliance leader in Gauteng John Moodey said Lewis mentioned the possible involvement of the “Alex mafia” in Blue IQ projects during a speech in the legislature.

The DA believed the ruling was unconstitutional and infringed on the rights to free speech and privileges in the house.

“The DA will be taking this ruling under legal advisement, with the view to having it overturned.”

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