ANC MP truancy a sign of 'ill-discipline' - Mthembu

2016-11-17 19:02
Jackson Mthembu (Netwerk24)

Jackson Mthembu (Netwerk24)

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Cape Town – The absence of ANC MPs in the National Assembly this week could be an indication of ill-discipline in the party’s ranks, Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu said on Thursday.

The truant MPs would face disciplinary hearings, he said.

The National Assembly was unable to pass the Division of Revenue Bill on Tuesday and Wednesday as a number of MPs were absent and a quorum could not be formed.

Some opposition party MPs walked out of the assembly. The matter would be rescheduled to next week.

Mthembu said 209 MPs had indicated they would be in the House on Wednesday, but a number failed to show up.

“It is also very embarrassing and disappointing. It is the first time that we are failing to pass a bill the second time around. All the times we have failed, it was on the first time around. The second time around, we passed it.” 

The reasons for their absence would probably become apparent during the disciplinary hearings. 

“What happened is not something that we can explain. The only reason that the caucus arrived at, is that this could be a consequence of ill-discipline among our ranks,” Mthembu said. 

ANC worried 

The ANC caucus and the party as a whole were worried about what was happening in Parliament, Mthembu said.

“The president, deputy president, the office of the secretary general, all are worried. The office has called for action, that we don’t talk and talk on these issues.”

They were hoping for a swift disciplinary process, but they would leave this to the relevant structures. It could be dealt with before Parliament rose at the end of the year.

The ANC would not release the names of the MPs involved as this would infringe their rights, he said. The party did, however, know who had not voted and who did not have permission to be absent.

He would not comment on the consequences the MPs would face. However, repeat offenders who did not take their jobs seriously should be dealt with.

No MPs would be allowed leave next week when the bill would be before the House again. 

Read more on:    parliament  |  division of revenue bill  |  politics

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