Parly to table new rules to prevent rowdy disruptions

2015-07-23 16:53
National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete. (GCIS)

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete. (GCIS)

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Pretoria – A new set of proposed rules to prevent disruptions in Parliament will be tabled next week, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete said on Thursday.

"At this point we cannot share with you a text of what the rules will be," she told reporters in Pretoria.

She would not say if the new rules would involve the use of police or Parliament’s security. The issue is about asking an individual or party to leave the House if they are continually disruptive.

"If they are unable to, or they refuse to leave, that can no longer be a matter of allowing them, or [saying] they have a right to express themselves like that."

While Mbete did not mention the EFF, the move follows the party’s repeated disruptions of President Jacob Zuma’s question time in the National Assembly. Its MPs have forced proceedings to be suspended with their chants of “pay back the money”.

It is a “question of tightening up the rules in order to enable members of Parliament to exercise their rights without being disrupted by other members”, she said.

The new rules are part of an overhaul of all 15 chapters of Parliament’s rules, which will be tabled before the end of the year.

When EFF MPs again stopped Zuma from answering questions on Thursday, June 18, the whips of all parties met. The matter was discussed in Parliament’s rules committee.

“As we went into the rules committee, those parties again very strongly made it clear they needed protection from the insistence of one party to disrupt the business of the House and therefore block them to also exercise their right to represent those who had voted for them.”

The rules sub-committee met on Wednesday to discuss the new proposals. These will be presented to the rules committee, a constitutional body, next Tuesday. They will be tabled in the National Assembly for adoption on Thursday.

Read more on:    eff  |  baleka mbete  |  parliament 2015  |  politics

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