'Not necessary' for Parliament to reconvene following unrest, says Speaker Modise

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  • The National Assembly will not reconvene during its constituency period, despite unrest.
  • The constituency period will end on 16 August.
  • Until then, the NA's work will be carried out through its committees, speaker Thandi Modise has said. 

It is not necessary to reconvene the National Assembly following unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, Speaker Thandi Modise has said.

Modise was replying to written requests she received from political parties for Parliament to reconvene to debate the recent violent events in the two provinces.

Letters of request were received from the African Christian Democratic Party, the National Freedom Party and the Democratic Alliance.

READ | #UnrestSA: KwaZulu-Natal police roll out vaccination drive after delays caused by unrest

In her replies, Modise said she did not believe it was necessary at this point to reconvene by recalling Members of Parliament from their constituency period, when they were and should be in their constituency areas, providing guidance and leadership.

"However, during the constituency period, which ends on 16 August, the NA had recognised and accepted that its work would continue through its committees, when necessary," Parliament said in a statement.

"Several committees had continued to meet, including on issues directly related to the unrest. These included the Joint Standing Committee on Defence, the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence, and the Portfolio Committee on Police."

Through National Assembly House Chairperson for Committees Cedric Frolick, relevant security committees would be encouraged to have joint meetings and more regular briefings to ensure members were fully and properly informed of the security situation at all times, the statement said.

"For these reasons, Modise said she did not believe it necessary, at this point, to reconvene the NA by recalling members from the constituency period. However, she remained open to that possibility, should it become necessary as circumstances dictated." 

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