KZN opposition parties stage walk out at Zikalala's swearing-in ceremony

2015-11-26 19:36
Sihle Zikalala. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

Sihle Zikalala. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Durban – Opposition party members staged a walk out during the swearing in of the ANC’s new provincial chairperson, Sihle Zikalala, at the KwaZulu-Natal legislature on Thursday.

Zikalala was sworn in as an official member of the provincial legislature, taking up the position that was previously occupied by provincial secretary Super Zuma.

Parties, however, complained that Zikalala was given special treatment, including sitting in a seat that was usually reserved for Premier Senzo Mchunu.  

The DA said in a statement that it and other parties protested "the unprecedented and blatant abuse of power associated with the entry to the House…".

"Contrary to the Rules of the Legislature, the new powers-that-be in KZN decided that it was appropriate to seat Zikalala in the seat reserved for the Premier – at the head of the front bench - with his seat labelled 'Leader of the Majority Party'."

The party said this effectively meant that the ANC had taken precedence over the head of the government in the province.

The National Freedom Party's KwaZulu-Natal leader, Vikizitha Mlotshwa, said the NFP walked out because Zikalala received "exclusive" treatment.

Mlotshwa said: "His name tag is different to ours when we are all equal members. He was being treated exclusively and special… He was seated where the Premier sits, if they are trying to tell us he is the new premier, they must come out and say it."

'Zikalala was given special treatment'

He said the NFP had written a letter to the speaker demanding answers.  

The Inkatha Freedom Party’s Blessed Gwala said: "The problem is when they close gates and members have little access to certain areas. We also have a problem when disruptions are caused by the speaker by calling an hour long media briefing because of a new member.

"He [Zikalala] was given special treatment, he is nothing special, he is not the king… We walked out as a matter of principal, we need a meeting with the speaker about the matter."

ANC provincial secretary Super Zuma called the walk out "cheap politicking aimed at leveraging a few minutes of fame for the politically bankrupt opposition".

Zuma dismissed concerns about the seating arrangements saying: "This was an internal decision by the party’s parliamentary caucus which has nothing to do with the legislature as an institution."

He said opposition parties’ hysteria revealed the "true level of their desperation".

"In fact, this is tantamount to interference in ANC caucus decisions… Clearly [opposition parties] are out of their depth and can no longer contribute to the formulation of policies that speak to the people of KZN," said Zuma.

Read more on:    nfp  |  da  |  anc  |  ifp  |  senzo mchunu  |  sihle zikalala  |  durban  |  politics

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.