Mbete told to practice what she preaches and follow the rules

2016-02-11 19:50

Johannesburg -  National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete was told to set an example in Parliament by following the rules in the house's rulebook, the same way she was instructing members of Parliament to do the same.

This call, by the Democratic Alliance Chief Whip John Steenhuisen, was made after Mbete told Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema and his colleagues that she would not recognise their points of order for the remainder of the night.

Malema's point of order had caused a disruption in the night's proceedings.

Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi asked Mbete if the house could take a vote on whether the house should continue with the business of the day or not.

Mbete responded that the National Assembly only had one item on its list for the day.

Chief whip of the African National Congress Stone Sizani raised his hand to address the sitting.

He told Parliament that Rule 13.2 of Parliament's rules on joint sittings stated that "no vote or decision taken may be taken by or in a joint sitting".

He said there was no rule in the book saying the house needed to take a vote or a decision during the sitting and called for President Jacob Zuma to continue with his address, saying members could debate the matter in Parliament the following week.

Steenhuisen then raised a point of order, telling Mbete that all members of Parliament had to respect the rules of the house, including herself.

"We have rules of Parliament to govern the sittings of this house, this joint sitting is no exception.

"The point that needs to be made Madam Speaker is that if you expect us to abide by the rules, you Madam Speaker must abide by the rules yourself," Steenhuisen said.

He said Mbete did not have the powers to make rules up or remove rules that already existed in this rule book, on her own volition.

"We want to abide by the books Madame Speaker but you need to abide by the rules as well and set the example."

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