Parliament oral questions session 'a farce' - DA MP

2016-11-16 19:07
Parliament. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Parliament. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - The oral question session in the National Assembly was rejected as a farce on Wednesday, following a dispute about the holding over of questions.

The security cluster was answering questions, when a query about a meeting at African National Congress headquarters Luthuli House with NPA head Shaun Abrahams had to be held over.

Justice Minister Michael Masutha was not in the House. He was part of the meeting, held on October 10.

Police Minister Nathi Nhleko could not provide answers to a question, due to lack of information from the Independent Police Investigative Directorate.

He was asked what was being done to address the lack of criminal convictions against police officers due to prosecutors’ alleged reluctance to pursue criminal cases against the SAPS.

“In light of the fact that several hours ago, I wrote the Speaker in relation to the refusal by the executive director of Ipid to provide answers to this question for oral reply, I therefore ask rule 144 [be invoked], which allows the minister to ask for this question to stand over,” Nhleko said.

Ramaphosa promise

Democratic Alliance MP Mike Waters was not impressed.

“On what grounds is the minister refusing to answer questions? This question has passed all the internal rules and he is here to answer the questions,” he said.

“You are making this oral session into a farce. It’s a disgrace,” he told Speaker Baleka Mbete.

MPs lambasted the ministers for not respecting the oral question sessions.

Benches allocated to ministers were mostly empty on Wednesday, despite a promise by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa in September to improve attendance.

Ramaphosa asked MPs to have faith and said he would deal with ministers who played truant.

“I would like us to watch this space. I am certain there is going to be greater performance when it comes to attendance in Parliament. This is a promise that I make. We have taken it to heart and we are going to make sure that attendance is improved,” he said.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  cyril ­ramaphosa  |  parliament 2016

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