Court bid halts provincial debate

2012-02-27 12:40

The debate on the Northern Cape State of the Province Address (SOPA) has been postponed until further notice.

It’s the second delay to hit the process, after Northern Cape Premier Hazel Jenkins suffered a stroke while delivering the speech on February 17.

Northern Cape Education MEC Grizelda Cjiekella was then appointed acting premier and delivered the speech last week.

But it wasn’t ill-health that halted the debate which traditionally follows each SOPA: instead, it was a court case.

Pakes Dikgetsi, a Cope member in the provincial legislature, said the party had successfully obtained a high court interdict to stop ANC chairperson and finance MEC John Block from having unlimited speaking time during the debate.

“The rules of the legislature stipulate that only the premier and the leader of the opposition party can have unlimited time (to respond in the legislature),” explained Dikgetsi.

The speaker of the legislature, Boeboe van Wyk, said they needed some time to study the court documents before commenting.

Meanwhile, Jenkins’ spokesperson Mafu Davids said the Premier had been warned by doctors that she needed to rest after her stroke.

Davids said Jenkins was in a “stable” condition but would not return to work for some time.

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