Matatiele will still move after 2nd vote

2007-11-16 00:00

Heated and confrontational debate in the KZN Legislature yesterday failed to alter the fate of Matatiele, which is still destined to be moved to the Eastern Cape after a second round of voting.

The second chance came when the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) in KZN failed to get 75% support for the Constitutional 13th Amendment Bill.

According to the rules, if this happens the bill has to be referred back to the legislature of the affected province for a final vote and mandate to be taken to the NCOP in Cape Town. Like the last round of votes, the ANC majority prevailed.

Ironically, presiding over the debate was Speaker Willies Mchunu, who is also the chairman of the SA Communist Party (SACP) in KZN. Outside, his members were protesting against the bill.

There was an accusation of gerrymandering in the legislature when DA leader Roger Burrows said Mchunu's attempt to shift the time of the vote was against the rules and was being done to allow absent ANC members to return to vote.

Mchunu asked for the vote to take place after a second debate on an amendment to the Public Service Amendment Bill, as the results of the vote had to be given to an NCOP meeting by 2 pm.

Mchunu accused Burrows of nitpicking, who replied that the eyes of the Constitutional Court were on “this house and on this process”. The speaker then adjourned for lunch for the Whips to consult.

When the vote was taken only six MPLs were absent.

The IFP's C.J. Mtethwa arrived too late to vote.

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