DA's Breytenbach accuses ANC of wasting time with bill debate

2016-11-08 21:39
Glynnis Breytenbach (Netwerk24)

Glynnis Breytenbach (Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach accused the ANC of trying to score political points amid multiple crises in the party by forcing Parliament to debate the "uncontentious" Justice Administered Fund Bill.

MPs, led by Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development John Jeffery, debated the merits of the bill in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

Breytenbach said the ANC was deliberately using one of the last few sittings in the House for the year to avoid talking about the university fees crisis or the "captured National Prosecuting Authority".

"Instead we while away an entire afternoon debating a bill as non-descript as this one; a strategy clearly designed to attract attention that rightly should occupy this House.

"This simply cannot be what ordinary South Africans send us here to do."

She said the bill was supported by most parties and a debate was not necessary. The ANC was trying to "polish their marble" amid all the issues facing it, she said.

EFF MP Moses Mbatha praised aspects of the bill too, but said the party can't support it on principle, as the Fund could be open to mismanagement and corruption by "Gupta associates".

He expressed the wish that it could have been presented on a different platform.

Fund for bail, fines, debt collection

The Justice Administered Fund Bill is designed to regulate the management, control, investment and utilisation of certain types of money on behalf of the state, Jeffery told the House.

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development manages funds on behalf of third parties that relate to bail hearings, fines, debt collection and other court payments.

"When someone posts bail, where does this money go, you may ask?" Jeffery said to the House.

Jeffery said the department always handled that money according to the Public Finance Management Act, but the new legislation will mean better access for ordinary citizens and a move away from the need to carry cash.

"The bill may seem technical and uncontentious in nature but for those people waiting for money to be transferred timeously, it provides a good legislative framework."

In a later debate brought by the ANC on the socio-economic empowerment of young women, DA chief whip John Steenhuisen said the ANC's lead speech didn't address the topic at all.

"We've prepared a debate on the topic, yet the honourable member sounds like she's giving a speech to an ANC branch meeting," he said referring to ANC MP Zephroma Dlamini-Dubazana.

"It's excruciating. It's worse than the Idols Wooden Mic contest."

The Justice Administered Fund Bill passed on Tuesday with no objections and will now be debated in the National Council of Provinces.

Read more on:    parliament  |  da  |  glynnis breytenbach  |  politics

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