IFP, DA walk out of Durban sitting

2013-04-26 00:00

THE Inkatha Freedom Party and the Democratic Alliance walked out of a two-day sitting of the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature held in Durban yesterday.

The sitting was part of the public participation programme called “Taking the Legislature to the People” and was preceded by visits to eThekwini communities by a multi-party oversight committee.

Yesterday’s sitting was to debate a report on municipal finances and receive replies from the MECs to parliamentary questions.

However, it was marred by heckling and jeering when members of the legislature tabled their motions.

Deputy Speaker Mtholephi Mthimkhulu had to ask the more than 2 000 members of the public repeatedly to refrain from applauding the addresses made by individual speakers.

He also warned MPLs to stop chatting during the proceedings.

At one stage DA leader Sizwe Mchunu asked for an investigation into ANC MPLs’ motions that he said bordered on racism and were contrary to the spirit of legislature rules.

He and Mthimkhulu became involved in a heated exchange. Mchu­nu asked the deputy speaker to “remind me where I was so that I can proceed”.

But Mthimkhulu said he could not because he had no speech in front of him.

Later IFP’s Blessed Gwala asked for permission to make a statement about the “gumba-gumba” sitting in which the opposition had no major role to play and which the ANC used to showcase government success.

When Mthimkhulu refused, Gwala led a walk out of IFP members.

The DA followed after Mchu­nu again complained about racist undertones in motions made by ANC members.

Only the ANC and the Minority Front remained. The ACDP and Cope were not part of the proceedings.

Mthimkhulu later told the sitting that proceedings would continue regardless.

“It is their right to walk out. The members were exercising their rights according to the standing rules of the legislature,” he said, adding he found nothing racist in the motions.

He also said Mchunu’s request for an investigation into the motion would be followed up and a report made at the next sitting.

Mthimkhulu dismissed objections by DA chief whip Radley Keys to motions made on Wednesday by four ANC MPLs who accused the DA of being the architect of apartheid, among other things.

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