Par­lia­ment should be a fes­ti­val of DE­BATES

Read­ers re­act to the EFF’S par­lia­men­tary behaviour with more favour than scorn

CityPress - - Voices - Phaswana Rofhiwa Mabizana via email Mkhuseli Mt­sila Port El­iz­a­beth

When EFF leader Julius Malema de­manded an an­swer from Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma on when he would con­sider pay­ing back the money for Nkandla and the ex­act date of pay­ment, I did not see it as per­sonal. The Public Pro­tec­tor’s re­port was clear that Zuma should pay back a rea­son­able amount of money used for non-se­cu­rity fea­tures.

Malema was us­ing his demo­cratic right as an MP to seek an­swers.

The Speaker should play her part as a neu­tral per­son who is au­tho­rised to en­sure that ques­tions are an­swered sat­is­fac­to­rily.

The ANC used its ma­jor­ity to sup­press the de­bate. Malema has an obli­ga­tion to take part in the de­bates with­out be­ing in­ter­rupted.

MPs should dis­cuss is­sues in­side Par­lia­ment and the ques­tion asked was rel­e­vant. Par­lia­ment is like a fes­ti­val of de­bates and it should con­tinue to be so with­out fear or favour.

The mes­sage the ANC sent can be in­ter­preted as tam­per­ing with the clause in the Con­sti­tu­tion that says all cit­i­zens are equal be­fore the law.

The EFF’s behaviour dur­ing the par­lia­men­tary ses­sion has gen­er­ated mixed re­sponses from the public. While un­der­stand­ing the EFF’s frus­tra­tion, I beg to dis­agree with its dis­rup­tive meth­ods.

The EFF’s en­try to Par­lia­ment and its abra­sive style of en­gage­ment have stim­u­lated peo­ple’s in­ter­est in par­lia­men­tary pro­cesses, but the same tac­tic is fraught with the pos­si­bil­ity that its mem­bers are risk­ing their rep­u­ta­tions.

The leg­isla­tive cor­ri­dors have be­come syn­ony­mous with leg­is­la­tors and the ex­ec­u­tive evad­ing ac­count­abil­ity.

This has been a long-es­tab­lished tra­di­tion since the days when the arms deal cor­rup­tion was ex­posed.

The re­cent in­ci­dents of avoid­ing ac­count­abil­ity have found ex­pres­sion in Nkandla, the spy tapes, the SABC de­ba­cle and the fi­asco within the NPA.

The view that the EFF is caus­ing an­ar­chy has no ra­tio­nal ba­sis be­cause an­ar­chy can only man­i­fest when our pres­i­dent, through the ANC, dis­re­spects our courts, Con­sti­tu­tion and the chap­ter 9 in­sti­tu­tions.

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