DA accuses KZN Legislature of having different cellphone rules for them

2013-06-04 00:00

THE Democratic Alliance is crying foul saying the KZN Legislature has a different set of rules for the DA after one of its parliamentarians was barred from reading a motion of notice from his cellphone.

The party made the claim after deputy speaker Mtholephi Mthimkhulu ruled DA MPL George Mari out of order for flouting the institution’s rules on Friday.

Mari’s address to the legislature was cut short when he tabled his motion of notice calling for the Cornubia housing allocation policy to be expedited to prevent further protest action by Kennedy Road informal settlement dwellers.

But, a point of order was raised that Mari was using an electronic device against the institution’s rules. The point of order was sustained by Mthimkhulu, who then stop-ped Mari from continuing with his motion.

Attempts by DA leader Sizwe Mchunu and caucus chief whip Radley Keys to show another rule which provides for electronic equipment to be used as long as it did not disturb proceedings fell on deaf ears.

“Correctly so, he had to discontinue because in this house we do not use cellphones,” Mthimkhulu said.

He also said Mchunu and Keys had entered the fray without being mindful of a rule which provided for MPLs to read aloud and deliver a signed copy of the motion.

“According to our present rules, a notice of motion must be written and signed. I wonder how honourable Mari was going to sign and read his motion he was reading from cellphone,” Mthimkhulu said.

He insisted that the use of electronic equipment that disturbed the proceedings of the legislature sitting was not allowed.

“Just imagine honourable members if we were to use our cellphones to present our notices, if that phone rings what will happen? I therefore would like to make this ruling, until such time that the rule is amended, a cellphone cannot be used to present a notice of motion.”

In a statement, Mari rejected the ruling and said it was an attempt to suppress DA views. “Many members of the KZN Legislature read their speeches from iPads, tablets and laptops. Yet it appears that there is now a different set of rules for the DA,” he said.

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