Parliament has lost its relevance, DA says

2012-12-12 17:00
DA (Picture: Sapa)

DA (Picture: Sapa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - Parliament lost its relevance and failed to be the centre of critical debate in 2012, DA Chief Whip Watty Watson said on Wednesday.

A day after ANC Chief Whip Mathole Motshekga tore into Democratic Alliance MPs for their "rowdy" behaviour during National Assembly sittings, Watson hit back.

In what appeared to be a tit-for-tat exchange between the two, Watson went as far as demanding that Motshekga step down for his "poor performance in the chief whips Forum".

Watson said Motshekga had contributed to the fact that Parliament had failed to debate matters of national importance.

"We've become a House where we debate motions of condolences, things on heritage, and all sorts of other things that really don't answer the questions asked by the electorate, while the debates that are important take place outside of Parliament," said Watson.

DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko accused many in government of undermining Parliament, but said there were some ministers who respected the institution.

"We have ministers like Rob Davies who are here practically every week... There are ministers presiding over quite terrible departments, like Thulas Nxesi [public works] and Gugile Nkwinti [rural development and land reform], who are also very good at coming to Parliament and being held accountable," said Mazibuko.

However, there were also ministers who had no respect for the legislature.

Reflected badly

"You have ministers who think Parliament is like a mosquito they have to swat away... who don't turn up for Scopa [Standing Committee on Public Accounts] inquiries, who don't answer questions, or who answer them in a cheeky, dismissive way."

Mazibuko said this not only reflected badly on government, but also on Parliament.

"The most damning thing is that Parliament allows this dismissiveness to happen... It's one thing for MPs to be dismissive, it's quite another for Parliament to be okay with it."

Mazibuko said she and fellow opposition MPs would be pushing National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu and the leader of government business Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, to ensure that in 2013 ministers accounted to Parliament and were punished when they did not.

Mazibuko spoke highly of Sisulu, describing him as a considerate, reasonable and pleasant presiding officer. However, she did want to see him stick his neck out more.

"I believe there's more political risk he can take to protect the credibility of the institution he swore an oath to.

"While I find him to be a man of integrity who understands the Constitution, who understands Parliament, I don't believe he goes far enough to secure those principles to which he is wedded."

Both Mazibuko and Watson were criticised during Motshekga's assessment of the parliamentary year on Tuesday.

He singled out an incident when DA MPs banged their fists on their desks during a heated debate as being the most disgraceful day in Parliament in 2012.

"The worst part of the whole shameful conduct is that it was led and encouraged, in full view of the public, by both the party DA chief whip and parliamentary leader," said Motshekga.

- SAPA

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  watty watson  |  lindiwe mazibuko  |  thulas nxesi  |  max sisulu  |  rob davies  |  kgalema motlanthe  |  mathole motshekga  |  parliament 2012  |  politics
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
60 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

ANCYL: Not voting would be blasphemy

Not voting in the forthcoming elections would be blasphemy, the ANCYL says in a statement commemorating the 50th anniversary of struggle icon Nelson Mandela's Rivonia trial speech.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold 9790

Bold Design The BlackBerry Bold 9790 smartphone combines the iconic BlackBerry...

From R2979.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you by...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.