Bunking ANC ministers are disrespecting Parliament - opposition parties

2016-08-31 20:17
The National Assembly. (Paul Herman, News24)

The National Assembly. (Paul Herman, News24)

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Cape Town - Opposition MPs vented their frustration in the National Assembly on Wednesday, saying the ongoing poor attendance record of ANC ministers was "disrespectful to the House".

Inkatha Freedom Party Chief Whip Narend Singh told the House that he had been informed that Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe would not be appearing in the National Assembly.

The House was sitting on Wednesday for a question-and-answer session for departments in the economics cluster.

Singh said it was a problem of protocol, and that the short notice of the information was disrespectful.

United Democratic Movement MP Nqabayomzi Kwankwa said the "ongoing problem" needed to be addressed.

"It is clear that the executive of this country does not respect this Parliament," Kwankwa said.

"We have been saying this thing over and over again. This matter has to be nipped in the bud, else there is no point in us coming here for three-hour sessions."

Economic Freedom Fighters chief whip Floyd Shivambu said the 12 ministers who were not present on Wednesday should provide reasons for their non-attendance.

Democratic Alliance chief whip John Steenhuisen urged speaker Thoko Didiza to consider that the House invest in a method to regulate attendance of MPs.

"We need to have a mechanism that holds members of the House accountable for poor attendance. Look at these empty seats here," he said pointing at the ANC benches.

"We might as well pack up and go home."

African National Congress chief whip Jackson Mthembu said the party was not aware that Radebe would not be appearing, and said it was the first time the party was hearing of it.

Minister of Women in the Presidency Susan Shabangu stepped in for Radebe, but arrived fifteen minutes late at 15:15.

Singh apologised to Shabangu for the miscommunication, but said MPs should notify the House in due course, and according to the rules, when not appearing in Parliament.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  eff  |  ifp  |  parliament 2016  |  politics

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