Speaker should rule the House, Parliament told

2015-10-06 13:40
National Speaker Baleka Mbete. (Leanne Stander, Foto24)

National Speaker Baleka Mbete. (Leanne Stander, Foto24)

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Cape Town - Can the speaker's decision be challenged in Parliament? Not in the House, according to the rules’ subcommittee.

The committee was debating guidelines of rules pertaining to the speaker and other Members of Parliament.

It focused mainly on a new rule, adopted in June, which called for MPs to be physically removed from the House if they directly ignored an order from the presiding officer to leave.

Committee chairperson Richard Mdakane said if all decisions were reviewed they would end up with no decisions at all.

Mdakane said people who had been aggrieved had a right to say they had been unfairly treated and could present their argument to a special multidisciplinary party, which would then take the argument to the speaker.

‘Early signs of dictatorship by the ANC’

Democratic Alliance MP Natasha Mazzone used a football game to make her point. She said a referee's decision could not be questioned in the field.

Picking up the soccer metaphor, Mdakane said: "When a referee orders you to leave with a red card, you get out. You can cry, you can appeal, but you get out."

Economic Freedom Fighters MP Sam Matiase said in the case of a football game, referees were not players, but regulators.

"In the case of the National Assembly, the speaker and presiding officers are politicians. They carry mandates and obligations and the positions of their parties and, as a result, are biased.

"The [football] example might make sense, but not in the House. These are early signs of dictatorship by the African National Congress."

The ruling party called for the interim rule dealing with the physical removal of MPs from the National Assembly to be adopted permanently. The EFF objected.

It will now be taken to the full rules committee.

Mdakane said if the court opposed the rule, it would be removed.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  eff  |  baleka mbete  |  parliament 2015

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