Modise invites review on Speakers' appointments

2016-05-12 18:14
Thandi Modise. (Beeld)

Thandi Modise. (Beeld)

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Cape Town - Anybody unhappy with the way Speakers are appointed should apply for a Constitutional review, chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) Thandi Modise said on Thursday.

This was after Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MP Tebogo Josephine Mokwele in the NCOP suggested replacing the current Speakers with retired judges.

The EFF in both the NCOP and National Assembly has consistently alleged that because the Speakers are drawn from the majority African National Congress's ranks, they are biased against other parties.

Speaking during the House's deliberation of the NCOP's budget, Modise said recent Constitutional Court judgments had made Parliament reflect on its responsibilities and had made it aware of certain rules.

An ad-hoc committee made up of members of both houses would examine the S11 rules and report back to Parliament.

"This process may necessitate that we relook at the rules," she said.

She added that the court had also clarified the relationship between Section 9 Institutions and Parliament.

She said that the idea of a Constitutional Court was to have an instrument to say "we are on the right track or we are missing the point".

When the judiciary was approached to mediate, it was not to pitch one arm of state against the other, said Modise.

Weaknesses and inconsistencies

She said that the Constitutional Court ruling had pointed out that where there were weaknesses and inconsistencies, but it was not the NCOP.

"Let's have a review that goes to a Constitutional review, but we in this house are doing what the Constitution says we must do.

"Go to [Constitutional] review; let's see what we can do."

Last month the Constitutional Court ruled that President Jacob Zuma had acted inconsistently with the Constitution when he failed to comply with the public protector's remedial action on the non-security upgrades to his Nkandla homestead. It also found that this remedial action was binding.

Additionally, it found that the National Assembly was in breach of its obligation in the way it handled the protector's report.

The NCOP came into effect on 6 February 1997 through the Constitution and replaced the Senate to form a system of co-operative governance that included the country's provinces in law making and financial management.

Modise noted during her speech on the NCOP's budget allocation for 2016/17 was R2.1bn, which was less than the requested budget by R956.4m.

This meant it would not be able to carry out everything it had planned to.

Read more on:    cape town  |  parliament 2016

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